Sustainability by Design
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Flower Power: This Machine Seed-Bombs Dirty Air

Flower Power: This Machine Seed-Bombs Dirty Air | Sustainability by Design | Scoop.it

There’s nothing wrong with “art for art’s sake,” the notion that works of art don’t require a justification or need to serve a higher purpose. But it’s also kind of cool when they do transcend that philosophy and send a specific message.

That’s certainly the case with artist Michael Jantzen’s design for his Eco-Seed Sowing Machines. The solar-powered structures would contain a large number of flower seeds that would be automatically released in small amounts whenever evidence of environmental degradation was observed around the machines.

Jantzen calls the project “a symbolic public art response to environmental degradation,” and he’d like to see the machines located in places around the world where environmental damage is the worst.

Susan Davis Cushing's insight:

Imagine a piece of art that would blossom where environmental destruction is the worst, drawing more attention to the area as signals cause it to activate into a work of flowering beauty. Would it get your attention? Would it be a call for action? When funded, this artist's designs will change some landscapes significanlty.

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Sustainability by Design
Looks Good: What's It Made From? Who Made It? Is it helping or hurting the planet?
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The Genesis Engine

The Genesis Engine | Sustainability by Design | Scoop.it
Editing DNA is now cut-and-paste. We could eliminate disease, cure hunger—or break the world.
Susan Davis Cushing's insight:

Beautiful, thought-provoking, and very troubling.


Author Amy Maxman concludes:

"In an odd reversal, it’s the scientists who are showing more fear than the civilians. When I ask Church for his most nightmarish Crispr scenario, he mutters something about weapons and then stops short. He says he hopes to take the specifics of the idea, whatever it is, to his grave. But thousands of other scientists are working on Crispr. Not all of them will be as cautious. “You can’t stop science from progressing,” Jinek says. “Science is what it is.” He’s right. Science gives people power. And power is unpredictable. " 


This is one great weekend read. ~ sdc

With thanks to ken payton

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Gorgeous, Sustainable "Leather" Is Made From Pineapple Waste

Gorgeous, Sustainable "Leather" Is Made From Pineapple Waste | Sustainability by Design | Scoop.it
When leather expert Carmen Hijosa visited the Philippines to consult with the leather industry there, she discovered two big problems: The leather was poor quality, and producing it was bad both for the local environment and the people involved.

But as she traveled around the country, she had an epiphany. The Philippines grows a lot of pineapples—and ends up with a lot of wasted pineapple leaves. The leaves, she realized, had certain features that might make it possible to turn them into a plant-based leather alternative.
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Art Museums Seek a Green Palette

Art Museums Seek a Green Palette | Sustainability by Design | Scoop.it
As new institutions sprout up around the country, administrators and architects are incorporating environmentally-friendly design features.
Susan Davis Cushing's insight:

Great Sunday Read.

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Circulate's Weekend Reading: Strongest biological material, driverless pods and more…

Circulate's Weekend Reading: Strongest biological material, driverless pods and more… | Sustainability by Design | Scoop.it
Circulate - the go-to location for circular economy related news and insight.
Susan Davis Cushing's insight:

Great Weekend Reading....

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A Breakthrough for Coral Reef Restoration

A Breakthrough for Coral Reef Restoration | Sustainability by Design | Scoop.it
How a scientist figured out how to regrow corals more than 25 times faster than normal
Susan Davis Cushing's insight:

In case you missed it.

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A new way to store solar heat

A new way to store solar heat | Sustainability by Design | Scoop.it

"Imagine if your clothing could, on demand, release just enough heat to keep you warm and cozy, allowing you to dial back on your thermostat settings and stay comfortable in a cooler room. Or, picture a car windshield that stores the sun’s energy and then releases it as a burst of heat to melt away a layer of ice.


"According to a team of researchers at MIT, both scenarios may be possible before long, thanks to a new material that can store solar energy during the day and release it later as heat, whenever it’s needed. This transparent polymer film could be applied to many different surfaces, such as window glass or clothing. ..." (more)

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Plastic-Bottle Homes Are Popping Up Around the World

Plastic-Bottle Homes Are Popping Up Around the World | Sustainability by Design | Scoop.it
A two-bedroom home with a bathroom, a kitchen, and a living room can be made from 14,000 plastic bottles and mud.

Via SustainOurEarth
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Linda Buckmaster's curator insight, December 13, 2015 2:32 AM

Wow!

Savannah Lynn Thomson's curator insight, March 13, 3:45 PM
This practice is already being used in Africa and Latin America. It can bring the community together by doing group recycling and collection of plastic bottles as well as filling them. This practice helps makes use of the abundance of plastic that would otherwise end up in a landfill. The structures use materials found on the site or locally and are well insulated, fire resistant, strong, and bullet proof. Being fire resistant is important in underdeveloped areas back of lack of infrastructure and government support to control fires that erupt. 
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Could a Common Plant Be the Future of Renewable Energy?

Could a Common Plant Be the Future of Renewable Energy? | Sustainability by Design | Scoop.it
A new design exhibit showcases the illuminating power of algae as biofuel.

Via SustainOurEarth
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Teenagers create $13 door handle that kills 99.8% of germs on contact

Teenagers create $13 door handle that kills 99.8% of germs on contact | Sustainability by Design | Scoop.it
Two boys from a secondary school in China have designed a door handle that kills 99.8% of all germs on contact. And it costs just $13.
Susan Davis Cushing's insight:

Turns out, titanium dioxide, when exposed to LED light, kills almost all bacteria. Voilå! A door handle developed by two teens has both components and is so inexpensive we're likely to soon see them everywhere. A wonderful application of #innovation in #science!

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10 Quirky Ideas For More Sustainable Cities

10 Quirky Ideas For More Sustainable Cities | Sustainability by Design | Scoop.it

"City living has many upsides, but a sustainable lifestyle is increasingly not among them. Pollution, traffic and loss of green spaces are just some of the daily trials that city-dwellers have to deal with.


"Step forward the inventors. We consider 10 of the wackier solutions to making our cities more liveable.

Susan Davis Cushing's insight:

Wacky as they may be, they are the cutting edge for innovation in design in densely populated areas.

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Ikea's refugee housing: "an unusually sensitive response" #design

Ikea's refugee housing: "an unusually sensitive response" #design | Sustainability by Design | Scoop.it
Ikea's flat-pack refugee shelters have now been tested in Ethiopia and Iraq.
Susan Davis Cushing's insight:

From the archives. Good slideshow for those who missed it.

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Look to the Peace Corps for the Next Great Food Idea

Look to the Peace Corps for the Next Great Food Idea | Sustainability by Design | Scoop.it
The Peace Corps provides near-perfect conditions for the discovery of exotic foods with a social purpose.
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21 Technologies That Are Decentralizing The Economy And Bringing Real Power Back To The People: #Grassroots #Sustainability

21 Technologies That Are Decentralizing The Economy And Bringing Real Power Back To The People: #Grassroots #Sustainability | Sustainability by Design | Scoop.it

The world is becoming more centralized, increasingly focused on economies of scale and transferring wealth to a tiny elite at the top of the financial system. Yet, at the same time there is another movement that is actively working to decentralize the world.

Susan Davis Cushing's insight:

This post by Dan West identifies real tools that make grassroots sustainability possible to real people. Refreshing, simple, comprehensive.

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These Students Are Developing Bacteria That Eats Our Plastic Pollution

These Students Are Developing Bacteria That Eats Our Plastic Pollution | Sustainability by Design | Scoop.it
Feed the hungry bugs an old plastic bottle, and get CO2 and water backand it's from two kids who are still in college.
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Cities that steal smart ideas from plants and animals

Cities that steal smart ideas from plants and animals | Sustainability by Design | Scoop.it
Architects, designers and urban planners are borrowing from natural phenomena as diverse as termite mounds and resilient grapefruits to design smart, sustainable cities
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Sustainability by design TEDtalks playlist

Sustainability by design TEDtalks playlist | Sustainability by Design | Scoop.it
Humans are builders and creators—but how can we build thoughtfully, without waste? These talks explore sustainable design—both past and present—and its beautiful, inspiring results.
Susan Davis Cushing's insight:

And I thought I coined the term :)

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The Quest for Greener Jeans

The Quest for Greener Jeans | Sustainability by Design | Scoop.it
Your clothes are a blight on the planet—denim especially. But some new products are taking on the negative toll of fast fashion.

Via SustainOurEarth
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Architects Dream Up Oyster Habitats for the Future | The Creators Project

BanG co-founder Henry Grosman tells The Creators Project, “We’ve seen a lot of projects that call themselves sustainable because they recycle materials. But then what happens after you take down the pavilion and you’re now just throwing out or recycling those materials? We wondered if we could do better.” He says the pavilion was built with donated materials from industry partners and will be lowered into the surrounding bay to become a functioning part of the long-term oyster habitat project.
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Airbus’ Newest Design Is Based on Bones and Slime Mold

Airbus’ Newest Design Is Based on Bones and Slime Mold | Sustainability by Design | Scoop.it

Airplane partitions are heavy and bulky, so Airbus partnered with Autodesk to shed weight by rethinking how the partition is designed.

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Nature Is The Ultimate 3-D Printer: Can We Make Our New Manufacturing As Clean?

Nature Is The Ultimate 3-D Printer: Can We Make Our New Manufacturing As Clean? | Sustainability by Design | Scoop.it

We must green 3-D printing while the technology is still in its infancy.


"...We have to do better, and thankfully, we still have time. This is the moment to redesign manufacturing so that it leapfrogs the missteps of the first industrial revolution. At a minimum, the materials need to be common, safe, and recyclable from the start. Manufacturers need to be able to procure what's known as the feedstock—the material you 3-D print with—locally, and then download a digital build file that imparts superior performance through structure. At the end of its life, the product must be "unzippable" so the feedstock can be fed back to the printer for reuse. And that’s where biomimicry—the mimicking of nature’s strategies and designs—has a great deal to offer....."


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These Infinitely Recyclable Clothes Are Made From Ocean Trash And Other Plastic Waste

These Infinitely Recyclable Clothes Are Made From Ocean Trash And Other Plastic Waste | Sustainability by Design | Scoop.it

World surf champion Kelly Slater is doing something with all the trash in the ocean - he's wearing it.

Susan Davis Cushing's insight:

Wow. Click though to read more about Slater's brainchild "Evolution Series by Outerknown' made from recycling fishing nets, carpet yarn, and other nylon waste. We've been waiting a long time for this cycle to come full circle!

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How one company is turning ocean pollution into wearable fashion

How one company is turning ocean pollution into wearable fashion | Sustainability by Design | Scoop.it

"It's a hypothesis made by Boris Worm of Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia, and a team of other marine conservation biologists, who believe the effects of rapidly spreading pollution from humans and unsustainable fishing will have an increasingly devastating impact on the environment.

But Cyrill Gutsch, founder of Parley for the Oceans, a forum that partners with brands to stop the destruction of nature by creating more environmentally sound practices, thinks it's coming sooner than that.


"That [prediction] was nine years ago," he explains to Mashable. "Today I would say that is way too optimistic."

Gutsch, who founded Parley for the Oceans in June 2012 after realizing how dire the ocean's needs are, says that plastic is having a profoundly destructive effect. A comprehensive February 2015 report published in the journal Science found that we dump approximately 19 billion pounds of plastic into the oceans every year.

Plastic doesn't oxidize or biodegrade, unlike paper, metal, glass or wood, making it especially harmful to marine life.

That's why he's partnered with Bionic Yarn, a company that produces high-performance yarn and fabric from the plastic Parley for the Oceans retrieves.

"There is more plastic in our oceans than plankton and more plastic particles than fish eggs in our lakes and rivers," Gutsch says. " 

We are destroying the most important life support system of our planet.

We are destroying the most important life support system of our planet. And if we succeed doing this, we will not be able to live on this Earth."


Bionic Yarn, which boasts musician and record producerPharrell Williams as creative director and an investor, takes plastic and infuses it into various fabrics to create real fashions. The process includes creating small fibers from plastic waste, then binding it onto fabrics such as yarn, lycra, cotton and polyester, which make up the majority of clothing. (more)





Susan Davis Cushing's insight:

This story needs to be shared widely - it is innovation at it's best. I've scooped more than my fair share of Mashable's article here. Will you help me spread the fascinating possibilities? 53 tons of ocean plastic debris collected in 18 months. Let's spread the innovations faster than the pollution!

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Why an iron fish can make you stronger - BBC News

Why an iron fish can make you stronger - BBC News | Sustainability by Design | Scoop.it
Could an iron fish, made out of recycled car parts and put into the cooking pot, be a solution to the world's iron deficiency problems?
Susan Davis Cushing's insight:

Astonishing. Available now from a buy-1-give-1 program #B1G1  http://www.luckyironfish.com/. Lots more information available there. $1 Million in funding to date.

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Richard van der Laken on social issues and design

Richard van der Laken on social issues and design | Sustainability by Design | Scoop.it

"...our society is in the grip of a technological revolution, giving us new tools and making it easier for us to work globally and with fewer physical resources. We are also more connected and aware as a result of our increasing access to information. Since the 2008 crisis, a lot of people feel that words like "social", "humanity" and "engagement" no longer concern just a few international relief agencies. They concern all of us. The refugee problem is too large and too urgent to leave to politicians."


click on image for full article



Susan Davis Cushing's insight:

"Design has a crucial role as a force for change, and change is badly needed right now" - an important opinion piece from Richard van der Laken, founder of What Design Can Do. Glad to see this coming from the field.

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A Degrowth Response to an Ecomodernist Manifesto

A Degrowth Response to an Ecomodernist Manifesto | Sustainability by Design | Scoop.it
From a degrowth perspective, technology is not viewed as a magical savior since many technologies actually accelerate environmental decline.
Susan Davis Cushing's insight:

This is a critically important article for anyone sorting through design and sustainability issues to save the planet.

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