Water


Paul Polak
The SunWater Project: Advanced Solar Technology for Poor Farmers
Paul Polak on SunWater: a radically affordable solar water pump that will transform small plot agriculture and help bring the world's poorest families out of poverty.



Paul Polak
Transforming Solar Pumping to Eliminate Rural Poverty
Paul Polak explores how we might reduce water shortages by employing solar pumping and eliminating rural poverty.


John Thackara
Venice: from Gated Lagoon to Bioregion
A review of the options that Venice faces in trying to shore up the city.


John Thackara
How To Manage a Constellation
To solve complex and interconnected human-environment challenges, like the death of the Baltic Sea, we need to build ‘social-ecological coalitions’ or ‘constellations’.


Alexandra Lange
Fixing South Street Seaport: Is New Architecture Enough?
Fighting over Ben Thompson's postmodernist landmark Pier 17 at South Street Seaport. Should it stay or should it go?



Alexandra Lange
Architecture Research Office
Interview with Stephen Cassell and Adam Yarinsky on the occasion of their National Design Award



Rachel Signer
Don't Flush Me
Prototype for urban system to detect and prevent sewage overflows



Barbara Flanagan
The Dissing of Summer Lawns
How one Californian was forced (and inspired) to exchange sod for low-water plants.



Barbara Flanagan
Epiphany of an Ocean Swimmer
Essay on in the insights that come with immersion in the deep, cold sea.



John Thackara
Off-Grid Water
Strategies and resources for water conservation.


Josh Wallaert
Google Maps, Give Us Our River Names
No map in history has made us feel more powerful or more present. But there's a little thing missing: the Mississippi River.



Ernest Beck
GlobalTap Update
GlobalTap water station update.



Julie Lasky
Acumen Sexy Sanitation Challenge
Acumen Fund announces winners of its "Sexy Sanitation" challenge.



Ernest Beck
Safe Agua
The first collaboration between Designmatters at Art Center College of Design and Chile’s Un Techo para mi País creates fresh ideas for water usage in a Santiago slum.



Ernest Beck
Ripple Effect Update

Update on the Ripple Effect initiative launched by IDEO, Gates Foundation and Acumen Fund to distribute fresh water in the developing world. Originally published July 30, 2009.





Ernest Beck
GlobalTap
Report on prototype for GlobalTap water refilling stations.


Jane Margolies
Rising Currents
Report on "Rising Currents," an exhibition of New York City design solutions to the flooding predicted by climate change experts, which will be on view at the Museum of Modern Art, March 24–August 9, 2010.



Ernest Beck
Peepoobag
Report on Peepoobag, a new self-sanitizing, single-use, biodegradable container for human waste.



Ernest Beck
Ripple Effect

IDEO launched Ripple Effect in India to help communities with the arduous process of transporting water.





Observed | September 23

The reason your neighborhood increasingly resembles a boring shopping mall is because somebody’s banker prefers it that way [MB]

A pantheon of record sleeve designers pick their favorites. [MB]

Molly Young and Teddy Blanks team up to produce a periodic table of NYC trash. [JH]

The Financial Times, on the comfort—and value—of Gerrit Rietveld’s classic zig-zag chair. [JH]

A new book suggests that design is at the core of all innovation. [JH]

90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual, and visual content is processed 60,000 times faster than text. [JH]

“In just a few years, understanding programming will be an indispensable part of active citizenship.” Reflections on the ethical dimensions of coding. [JH]


Observed | September 22

Farewell, Rollo Tamasi. Remembering the remarkably versatile director Curtis Hanson and his best movie, L.A. Confidential. [MB]

“Design to me is about improving our daily life—it is not about creating another lamp or another chair.” Dutch designer Daan Roosegaarde wins the design innovation medal in London. [JH]

A deepening interest in helping to define what design in China actually means. [JH]

The EpiPen is just one more example in a long tradition of designers “solving” design problems by adding instructions, rather than fixing the underlying design itself. [JH]

TestLab Berlin—an immersive design program from ArtCenter in California. [JH]

The art schools Fidel Castro built—and then neglected. [MB]


Observed | September 21

In December, DC Comics and IDW Publishing will publish “Love Is Love,” a 144-page comic book whose proceeds will benefit Equality Florida and its fund for those affected by the June 12 attack at the Pulse nightclub in Florida. [JH]

Disney characters with a military aesthetic: painting as propaganda in (North!) Korea. [JH]

Can you get a patent for a paper bag? Apple can! [JH]

Valued at $246 billion, Tencent is Asia’s most profitable company. Here’s what went into designing their corporate headquarters. [JH]


Observed | September 20

“Design/Build” and why it’s good for everyone, especially the economy. [JH]

A new book brilliantly exposes the often overlooked relationship between architecture and the political process. [JH]

Frank Gehry redesigns Eisenhower memorial after a now-well publicized family critique. [JH]

Kickstarter projects, city by city, illuminate where creative communities live in the United States. [JH]

All 14 issues of legendary Herb Lubalin 60s magazine Avant Garde are now online! [JH]


Observed | September 19

Taschen’s new luscious book on vintage car brochures. [JH]

"Its participatory nature, in which viewers are invited to make use of the fixture individually and privately, allows for an experience of unprecedented intimacy with a work of art.” Artist Maurizio Catalan has replaced the toilet in a public restroom at the Guggenheim Museum with a fully functional replica cast in 18-karat gold. [MB]

New Zealand student designs inflatable bird bath with implications for combating oil spills worldwide. [JH]

At the University of Nevada in Las Vegas, you can now get a degree in health care interior design. Here’s why. [JH]

"At fifteen seconds after 9:41 a.m., on September 11, 2001, a photographer named Richard Drew took a picture of a man falling through the sky—falling through time as well as through space. The picture went all around the world, and then disappeared, as if we willed it away.” A masterful piece by Tom Junod on one of most famous — and horrifying — pictures from 9/11. [MB]

As Solari boards disappear from train stations and airports, they’re showing up elsewhere. [MB]

Design “weeks” is now a global thing—and coming to a country near you! [JH]

Stephen Wolfram on how to teach computational thinking. (Thanks to Blake Eskin.) [MB]



Jobs | September 25