January 6, 2014
Happy 2014! We hope you had a relaxing, rejuvenating holiday break with family and friends, just like we were able to do over the past two weeks. To kick off the new year, first up is Krista Donaldson’s uplifting TED talk, “The $80 prosthetic knee that’s changing lives,” which has already elicited over 212,000 views. As we shared back in December 2013, Donaldson, who is the CEO of D-Rev, presented the design, production, and impact of the small, life-changing ReMotion Knee product at TEDWomen 2013. Focusing first on the question, “How do you get it to the people who most need it?” Donaldson shares three key aspects–world class, user-obsessed, and market-driven–that led the team to improve upon previous prosthetic knee designs. Working with doctors, patients, designers, engineers, manufacturers, and suppliers from inception to distribution of the product, the ReMotion Knee has now been fit on over 5,000 amputees in 12 countries–and 79% of amputees are still wearing the knee. With a goal to double their impact by 2015, D-Rev is well underway in returning stability and dignity to people who earn less than $4 a day.
We’ve made incredible advances in technology in recent years, but too often it seems only certain fortunate people can benefit. Engineer Krista Donaldson introduces the ReMotion knee, a prosthetic device for above-knee amputees, many of whom earn less than $4 a day. The design contains best-in-class technology and yet is far cheaper than other prosthetics on the market.
Click here to watch “The $80 prosthetic knee that’s changing lives,” online at TED.com.
December 20, 2013
What an incredible year it has been here at PublicInterestDesign.org. From organizing the first Public Interest Design Week, to creating a Good Design Glossary, to welcoming new team members, to writing 401 blog posts this year, we have a lot to celebrate as 2013 comes to a close.
In observance of the Christmas and New Year’s holidays–both landing on Hump Day this year–our team is going to fully indulge in the holiday break by spending the next two weeks with our nearest and dearest on somewhat of a ‘tech shabbat.’ We hope you do the same. Have a wonderful holiday and we will see you back here on January 6th, 2014, when we will resume our coverage.
Oh, and have you noticed our newsletter sign-up widget on the home page? Yep, that’s right–we’re kicking off 2014 with a weekly newsletter featuring our latest posts sent straight to your inbox. Sign up here to get the first issue, due out in January.
December 19, 2013
With 58,000+ people living on the streets of Los Angeles and only 2,000 beds available at shelters, architect Tina Hovsepian’s pop-up shelter, Cardborigami, is attempting to make a dent in this deficit. Originally conceived while studying at the USC School of Architecture, the idea for the pop-up shelter has evolved into a non-profit with a four-step path for homeless people that “aims at aiding the transitional process to help the individual sustain their permanent housing status and successfully re-integrate into society.” The temporary shelter–locally manufactured in Los Angeles out of recycled cardboard–is now being sold to people for recreational use as a way to raise money for the non-profit’s homeless aid efforts.
Cardborigami is an innovative and thoughtful approach to alleviate homelessness due to poverty or natural disaster. The product is a portable shelter that provides privacy and protection from the elements. The shelters are water-resistant, flame-retardant, and recyclable. It takes two people 30 minutes to construct a shelter and it can fold open and closed in less than a minute with no further assembly required. This provides instant space and shelter for those who have nothing. When not in use or when being transported, each unit can be folded into a size that is easily carried by a single person.
Click here to read more about Cardborigami, online at Carborigami.org.
December 19, 2013
Photographer Jonas Bendiksen’s documentation of life in four slums from around the world has been captured in a spectacular website, The Places We Live. Combining stunning still and 360 degree panoramic photographs with environmental sounds and interviews, the site provides a dynamic and personal view into the lives of slum residents that will surely activate your senses and emotions. By building upon The Places We Live book and exhibition, this is one spectacular piece of work that tops our list of digital storytelling.
The year 2008 has witnessed a major shift in the way people across the world live: For the first time in human history more people live in cities than in rural areas. This triumph of the urban, however, does not entirely represent progress, as the number of people living in urban slums–often under abject conditions–will soon exceed one billion. From 2005 to 2007 Magnum photographer Jonas Bendiksen documented life in the slums of four different cities: Nairobi, Kenya; Mumbai, India; Caracas, Venezuela; and Jakarta, Indonesia. His lyrical images capture the diversity of personal histories and outlooks found in these dense neighborhoods that, despite commonly held assumptions, are not simply places of poverty and misery.
Click here to get the full experience of the site, online at ThePlacesWeLive.com.
December 18, 2013
The School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation at the University of Maryland has announced an opening for an Assistant Professor with specific expertise in public interest design and sustainability. Although we rarely post job opportunities, we felt this position was important to share. Along with teaching courses within the university, the role includes developing a new Action Learning Program with the upcoming Institute for Sustainable Maryland–a program that “combines student ingenuity and faculty expertise to address the many challenges facing Maryland’s communities.” Deadline to apply is March 14, 2014.
The Action Learning Program at the Institute for Sustainable Maryland will allow communities to reap the benefits of thousands of hours of work from a world-class research university, placing that knowledge and know-how at their fingertips. Custom-tailored to each community’s specific needs, the program will focus on practical, attainable solutions and provide new perspectives, innovative ideas and extended conversations with experts in the field.
Click here to read more about the Assistant Professor position, online at eJobs.UMD.edu.
December 18, 2013
On Monday, we published the first “round up” piece on GOOD that highlights our “Top 10 Public Interest Design Videos of 2013.” Bringing together our favorite videos–all of which have been featured here on our blog throughout the year–has made us reflect on the breadth of initiatives that are shaping the dialogue around design education, practice, and performance. We hope it does the same for you.
Click here to read our “Top 10 Public Interest Design Videos of 2013,” online at GOOD.is.
December 18, 2013
Enterprise Community Partners announced the newest class of Enterprise Rose Fellows this past Friday. Six talented architects–Michael Chavez, James Lewis, Erick Rodriguez, Hilary Noll, Esteban Reichberg, and Shelly-Anne Tulia Scott–were selected to spend three years progressing sustainable, affordable housing across America. Vice President of Design Initiatives Katie Swenson sums up the impact of the fellowship:
The Enterprise Rose Architectural Fellowship program offers our next generation of leaders the opportunity to transform the community development field through design excellence, sustainability and community engagement. With 50 fellows since the program began in 2000, we are proud that the Rose Fellowship is recognized as a leading force in growing the Public Interest Design movement.
Click here to read “A New Class of Leaders,” online at EnterpriseCommunity.org.
December 17, 2013
Our friends at Public Architecture–the non-profit architecture firm and founders of The 1% Program–are celebrating the holiday season this year by counting down their top 13 highlights of 2013, including projects, leaders, and values that inspired them. Between now and December 31st, 2013, you can join the countdown by following and sharing #GRATEFULx13 on Facebook and Twitter. As an added bonus, furniture company Teknion is donating $1 per like, share, and retweet to support Public Architecture’s work.
Established in 2002, Public Architecture identifies and solves practical problems of human interaction in the built environment and acts as a catalyst for public discourse through education, advocacy, and the design of public spaces and amenities.
December 17, 2013
Eskew+Dumez+Ripple were awarded the 2014 Architecture Firm Award by the American Institute of Architects Board last week. As leaders in modern Gulf Coast architecture, EDR have designed across many scales–from large buildings like the Louisiana State History Museum and 930 Poydras Residential Tower, to urban plans like the New Orleans Riverfront Development Plan, to small projects like Make It Right’s L9 Prototype House–which was featured in The Power of Pro Bono book written by our own John Cary.
The award was given a day after cofounder Allen Eskew, FAIA, passed away unexpectedly. Steven Dumez, FAIA, spoke about the bittersweet event:
Allen was tremendously proud of what we were all able to collectively build as a firm, so I speak for him and the rest of the firm when I say we’re extremely grateful that we have the opportunity to reflect on what we’ve been able to accomplish.
December 17, 2013
City planner and urban justice advocate Toni Griffin provides a hopeful and well-conceived plan for the city of Detroit–the American city that has become known for a declining population, an overabundance of abandoned buildings, and bankruptcy. In the recently released TEDCity2.0 talk “A new vision for rebuilding Detroit,” Griffin presents an overview of the Detroit Future City’s strategic framework based on “not what it was but what it could be.” By focusing first on the current population’s needs and activities, the framework provides a robust, inclusive vision for a city that has the potential to shape a new American dream.
Once the powerhouse of America’s industrial might, Detroit is more recently known in the popular imagination as a fabulous ruin, crumbling and bankrupt. But city planner Toni Griffin asks us to look again — and to imagine an entrepreneurial future for the city’s 700,000 residents.
Click here to watch Toni Griffin’s TEDCity2.0 talk, online at TED.com.