Why Design Now

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Why Design Now?: Furumai
Why? Water, the medium of life, has myriad manifestations. Furumai, meaning behavior or dance in Japanese, was an installation created for the Water exhibition at 21_21 Design Sight in Tokyo in 2007. The project consisted of paper plates treated selectively with an invisible water-repellent coating. As visitors interacted with the plates, beads of water danced...
Why Design Now?: Cabbage Chair
Why? Made from reclaimed materials, the Cabbage chair is a compact roll of paper that the user opens up and peels back, layer by layer, to create a soft enclosure for the body, requiring no finishing, assembly, or hardware. Resins added to the paper during the production process give it strength and memory, while the...
Why Design Now?: Eco-Laboratory
Why? Vertical farming is a new approach to fresh-food distribution that provides urban centers with healthy food grown within the controlled environment of a multistory building. Eco-Laboratory successfully merges a neighborhood market, dwelling units, a vocational training facility, and a sustainability educational center for the public into a financially viable downtown residential development.
Why Design Now?: MedellĂ­n, Colombia
Why? A team of architects and urban planners, social workers and citizens has transformed Medellín, Colombia, from the most violent city in the world into a community whose architecture carries a powerful message of social inclusion. Public buildings, parks, libraries, schools, and museums were inserted in the most desperate neighborhoods to provide crucial public services....
Why Design Now?: Hope Solar Tower
Why? Solar towers capture solar energy to heat air under an expansive collector zone. Based on the principle that heat rises, this air flows towards the center of the collector through electricity-generating turbines and up and out of the tower, like a chimney. When built, the tower will be about 750 meters high and could...
Why Design Now?: Norwegian National Opera and Ballet (Nytt Operahus 2003-2008)
Time-lapse Why? The first purpose-built home of the Norwegian Opera and Ballet is both a bridge and anchor for the Oslo community. As part of the first phase of an extensive transformation of the waterfront, the Opera is a monumental gateway to the harbor. Its most distinctive feature is a white marble roof that serves...
Why Design Now?: MIT Next Billion Network
Why? Another billion people, mostly in the developing world, will acquire access to cell phones in the next three years, unleashing a revolution in communications. The Next Billion Network partners students and local organizations to create mobile technologies for this population, expanding opportunities for self-reliance. For example, Mobile Care enables cell phones to become medical...
Why Design Now?: Next Billion Network: Moca
Why? Another billion people, mostly in the developing world, will acquire access to cell phones in the next three years, unleashing a revolution in communications. The Next Billion Network partners students and local organizations to create mobile technologies for this population, expanding opportunities for self-reliance. For example, Mobile Care enables cell phones to become medical...
Why Design Now?: Viet Village Urban Farm
Why? After Hurricane Katrina, the Mary Queen of Viet Nam Church and the local Vietnamese community in New Orleans formed a community-development corporation, working with a design and engineering team to create a model for low-tech, sustainable site development. The Viet Village utilizes composting, crop rotation, and cover cropping as well as bio-filtration of water...