Why Design Now

SORT BY:
Why Design Now?: Z-20 Concentrated Solar-Power System
Why? This solar technology is distinguished by its use of mirrors to capture light and focus it onto a small generator to produce electricity and thermal energy. The parabolic optical dish follows the sun from dawn until dusk, harnessing seventy percent of the solar energy that hits it, making it much more efficient than conventional...
Why Design Now?: California Academy of Sciences
Why? Buildings in the United States produce the largest share of the worlds carbon-dioxide emissions. All aspects of the recently completed California Academy of Sciences, a natural-history museum, were designed for maximum environmental performance. The indigenous plantcovered, contoured roof design is a key component of the buildings overall ecological system, making it one of todays...
Why Design Now?: The Story of Stuff
Why? In the Story of Stuff video, environmental activist Annie Leonard explains how products affect human society and the natural world as they make their way through the cycle of material extraction, manufacturing, consumption, and disposal. Free Range Studios worked with Leonard to create a compact, punchy script around simple, active stories, and iconic characters.
Why Design Now?: Living with Robots
Why? This device reduces the load and stress on the lower body, reducing fatigue and injuries and enabling a broader range of activities among the elderly as well as workers who spend extended periods of time on their feet, climbing or descending stairs, or maintaining semi-crouched positions. Weighing less than fifteen pounds, the device supports...
Why Design Now?: Power Aware Cord
Why? Most people have no sense of their energy usage until they receive their monthly utility bill. The Power Aware cord is a poetic gesture that indicates energy is flowing to an appliance through glowing pulses and intensity of light. For instance, changing the volume on stereo equipment becomes immediately visible, as does the silent...
Why Design Now?: SunShade
Why? SunShade is an outdoor solar floor lamp. With solar cells embedded in the canopy and acting as sensors, the umbrella opens and closes automatically like a real flower in relation to the shifting sun. During the day, the SunShade opens to provide shade and harness sunlight, and as the sun goes down, the parasol...
Why Design Now?: M10 Kite-Power System
Why? This kite system harnesses the winds energy with a tethered wing that flies at high altitudes where the wind is both strong and more consistent. As the kite sweeps through a vast amount of area, small wing-mounted turbines extract power from the wind, converting it into electrical power. The tether transmits electrical power to...
Why Design Now?: GoodWeave Label and Odegard Rugs
Why? GoodWeave is an ethical certification program that seeks to end illegal child labor in the rug industry. Stephanie Odegards company was the first in America to work with GoodWeave. Sales of her carpets carrying the label support educational opportunities for children in South Asia. The Navaratna rug depicts the Navaratna, or nine gemstones, whose...
Why Design Now?: Eco-Machine at the Omega Center for Sustainable Living
Why? The Eco-Machine is a carbon-neutral and environmentally safe wastewater-treatment system at the OCSL. In a 10,000-gallon anaerobic tank, microbes digest the sludge, and the wastewater travels to four constructed wetlands, where plants, microbes, fungi, and algae scrub the water. After passing through a final filter, the water is ready for non-potable use.