by Taylor Hom
On Halloween, the United Nations Population Division reported the world’s population had reached seven billion. But as global population soars, many governments and communities struggle to accommodate rapid urban growth. People flock to cities as refugees of conflict, victims of natural disasters, or seekers of job opportunities. In 2008, for the first time in world history, more people lived in cities than in rural areas, and today, nearly one billion live in urban slums with that number projected to double by 2030.
Think you can design a U.S. dollar bill better than our forefathers? Well the Dollar Redesign Project wants to see what you can do.
On their site designers can submit their concepts and fans can cast ballots for the best designs. MLK on a 20? Amelia Earhart on a 10? These examples above prove that it is possible to reimagine how we brand our currency.
Via Josh Spear
Really cool packaging and design concepts for a fragrance line coming out of Poland. All the scents are named and inspired after famous writers. Now as for a the smell... that's only something folks out in Poland can attest to.
Despite the lecture hall’s bandbox environment, and the heatstroke humidity that suffocated me for nearly all of the 90 minutes, World Science Festival's Modern McGyvers presentation at the Museum of Arts and Design was an interesting introspection into what creativity, modest translation, and fundamental good will can achieve in the developing world. Below is a quick rundown of each of the innovations highlighted from this talk as well as the story behind them.
GREEN AND CLEAN STOVES
Benjamin West’s StoveTec cooking device is a technology with multiple benefits. Using 50 percent less fuel and burning 70 percent cleaner than the open fire alternatives being used in many developing countries, the stove has a positive effect on decreasing deforestation and from a human health perspective, cuts down on pneumonia and the the casualties of overexposure to smoke. Already present in 45 countries and going for no more than 20 dollars tops (8 dollars sans a fan), StoveTec certainly is a basic, yet vital improvement on the developing world's cooking regiment.
(I so sounded like an infomercial there)
Make sure to check the vid spotted over at Solar1 for more on how these super stoves work.
CAMEL POWERED FRIDGE
Dr. Winston Soboyejo’s solar powered camel refrigerator, which I highlighted and spotted at Inhabitat months back, is clearly not available at your local store, but its certainly some of the most innovative and groundbreaking tech out there. Kenya and Ethiopia have already started using these "camelfied" fridges to deliver vaccines and medicines to remotes areas, a reality that was practically an impossibility in the past due to the damage caused by the desert heat.
Pamela Ronalds’s work with biotechnology in the rice rich regions of Bangladesh and the Philippines, have shown the advantages of what science can bring to the future of our food. The manipulation of super seeds isn't only creating tastier and long lasting crops, it's also making them immune to things such as flooding and disease.
You can find out more on Ronald’s work at FORA TV.
DIRT POWERED BATTERIES
Hugo Van Vuuren’s dirt powered batteries was by far the highlight of the night for me. At under ten dollars, the battery lasts 8-12 months and is the closest thing to Richard Dean Anderson you can get in terms of ingenuity. The batteries are already being used in electricity starved areas of Namibia and Tanzania, where the presence of outlets and nearby electric sockets are pretty much non-existent.
For a more charismatic and "geniusy" breakdown of this innovation, listen to his lecture over at PopTech.
This picture above is of the zero currency rupees designed by a anti-corruption organization in India called 5th pillar. The group has invented the rupees in hopes that they will be passed on to wrong doers as a sort of tangible scarlett letter against those searching for a bribe or operating under fraudlent pretences.
"The zero currency note in your country's currency is a tool to help you achive the goal of zero corruption. The note is a way for any human being to say NO to corruption without the fear of facing an encounter with persons in authority.
Next time someone asks you for a bribe, just take your country's zero currency note and hand it to them. This will let the other person know that you refuse to give or take any money in order to perform services required by law or to give or take money to do something illegal"
Props to Designboom