The population at Jordan’s Zaatari camp for Syrian refugees has dwindled. The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) counts current residents at 83,000, down from over 200,000 in April 2013. People are relocating to communities across Jordan, electing to return to Syria, or simply bailing out of the refugee program. Meanwhile, those that remain – many in […]
There’s a new toy on the shelf that’s been whipping up online comments that accuse its maker of radically challenging expectations of femininity, enforcing oppressive gender norms, and preaching conformity over experimentation. Some say she’s racist, as there are no dolls-of-color in her line. Others point to a liberal tree-hugger theme, as they are dressed for back-packing and camping. Living in […]
Harvesting water from the air is not a new idea. Arid countries like Yemen are already using low tech watercones to funnel sea water to drinking water. Another funneling device is being developed by an Italian designer to trap water vapor in a Warkawater tower to harvest potable water directly from the air. Still another device, called the […]
Seven designers teamed up on a project to transform an ancient Egyptian pyramid into a green skyscraper that works to reverse desertification. Their Bio-Pyramid concept won an honorable mention in the 2015 eVolo Skyscraper Competition, an award that recognizes outstanding ideas that challenge the way architecture relates to both natural and built environments. Could up-cycling the Great […]
IKEA and UNHCR (the United Nations High Commission for Refugees) emerged from two years of research with a prototype shelter suitable for refugee families anywhere. It features an innovative roof that reflects 70% of the sun’s rays during the day yet retains heat during the night, and it’s fitted with solar panels that power an […]
Today is Pi Day. Celebrated around the world every March 14th (3/14), the day focuses on the mathematical symbol that represents the constant ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter, approximated as 3.14159. This year’s Pi Day is a once-in-a-lifetime event; it will be 100 years until we experience 3/14/15 9:26:53 again – that’s pi to […]
Falcons have been trained for hunting and sport for thousands of years across the Middle East. Now falconers in the United Arab Emirates are turning to drone technology as a new tool to teach their birds to fly increasingly higher and hunt more efficiently. Can technology teach old birds new tricks?
We’ve all heard of the benefits of solar power and the emergence of innovative new projects that are making use of the sun’s energy. But one is soaring above the rest of them – a solar-powered plane attempting to fly round the world! Solar Impulse 2 took off from Abu Dhabi in the United Arab […]
South Tel Aviv’s Central Bus Station (CBS) sprawls across 10 acres in the poorest part of the city. Inaugurated in 1993 as a “city under a roof”, the neglected station – like many urban transport hubs – has since became a hangout, hotel and unofficial business center for addicts, prostitutes, thieves and homeless. It’s not a place to dawdle. Could […]
Forget coffins. At least the traditional ones. That was the idea we explored in a recent post on green burials, but that story overlooked a new product in the mortuary arts tool kit that takes burial full circle. The Capsula Mundi project by Italian designers Anna Citelli and Raoul Bretzel is an organic, biodegradable burial capsule that directly […]
Iranian architect Nader Khalili, founder of the California Earth and Architecture Institute and proponent of the- dare we say- revolutionary SuperAdobe building technique, would be proud. In the coming week from the 11th to the 14th of March 2015, l’Iran will inaugurate the first edition of “Regeneration of earthen architecture festival” which aims to promote earth […]
Food designer Chloé Rutzerveld has developed a concept for 3D-printed snacks that sprout plants and mushrooms from edible soil housed within a pastry or pasta shell. She envisions a day when your local grocer could print you out a takeaway boxful, and about 4 days later they’ll grow into lunch. In the burgeoning field of futuristic […]
The tire industry is one of the largest users of virgin rubber, blending it with sulfur and heating the mix to create ‘vulcanized rubber’. It’s a highly durable material that is notoriously difficult to recycle. Design schools, small rural start-ups, and major clothing manufacturers are all working to develop ecologically sound disposal options for spent tires. Some of […]
Who says you can’t have your cup and eat it too? The maker of those chicken-like products sworn to be “finger-lickin’ good” is testing a range of 100% edible containers for takeaway coffee. Fast food giant KFC will be testing its new coffee cups in Britain this summer. Called “Scoff-ee” (a wordplay meaning “to eat […]
Mission Control for the Solar Impulse 2 is open for business, ready to guide the solar plane’s first flight around the world. Located in Monaco, the Mission Control Center (MCC) serves as project nerve-center, where a team of analysts and engineers will collect satellite-transmitted flight information to calculate and adjust the plane’s flight path. The plane will take off from […]
Collateral Repair Project (CRP) is a scrappy nonprofit in Amman, Jordan that brings critical help to people commonly referred to as “collateral damage” – urban refugees, victims of war and conflict, and those on the lowest rung of the local economic ladder. Read on to learn how a group of Amman’s most marginalized women are giving back to […]
Egypt isn’t exactly renowned for its vast green spaces and pioneering environmental policies. Its capital is the biggest city in the Middle East and it’s also one of the most densely populated in the world. Cairo is famous for being full of people, buildings and traffic – not plants or trees. But recently projects aiming […]
Tesla CEO and Founder Elon Musk is shocking his fan base with a special feature more likely to appeal to drag racers and Middle East “drifting” aficionados than the usual suspects attracted to his stylish and environmentally excellent electric cars. Press the “Insane Button” and his all-wheel-drive Model S P85D rockets from 0-60 miles per hour (mph) in just over […]
The experimental flying lab better known as Solar Impulse 2 was launched today in Abu Dhabi. The groundbreaking airplane will circumnavigate the world flying both day and night without using a single drop of fossil fuel. Said co-pilot Betrand Piccard, “You can achieve miracles with renewable energy and clean technologies.”
I woke up to find an email from Cameron Sinclair thanking me for “designing like you give a damn.” Sinclair is the executive director of the Jolie-Pitt Foundation and, yeah, celebrities and politicians email me all the time. I’m also popular with Nigerians who need help cashing checks. I need to figure out how to […]
Photographer Beth Moon spent 14 years traveling to almost every continent taking pictures of the world’s oldest trees. Sixty of the resulting photos – printed with luminous results using a labor-intensive platinum/palladium process – form her book Ancient Trees: Portraits of Time (Abbeville Press). It’s a stunning record of nature’s majesty.
Assuming you stayed relatively sane on New Year’s Eve, you probably going to woke up the next day feeling optimistic, ready to start the new year with a clean slate. Maybe resolve to lace up the sneakers, or lay off the carbs. Or take it bigger and tackle a problem beyond yourself by investing in […]
This is the amazing tale of Derby the dog. The life of this little pup born with withered front legs took a radical turn when he met an animal lover named Tara Anderson. See the power of tech to change lives – all species welcome.
The Middle East and Africa subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Corporation officially launched an outrageous shopping experience for its Xperia products this month, with a pop-up store located just offshore from the environmentally dubious World Islands in Dubai – and 4 meters under the sea. It’s the world’s first underwater store.
Italian architect Arturo Vittori and his colleague Andreas Vogler designed a low-tech machine, based on passive design, that can produce between 50 and 100 liters of clean drinking water daily, without electrical equipment and independent of land-based water sources. This inexpensive, easily assembled tower was designed specifically for rural communities in Ethiopia that lack access to safe […]