Posts Tagged ‘social awareness design

Life Straw

10, نوفمبر 2010

Do you see how dirty that water is? Would you drink it if I dared you? With Life straw you can! (Or at least, you’d be more willing too…)

Lifestraw is a water filter in a straw. It’s a cheap ($2.00), effective (removes 99.9% contaminants) and is good for about a year’s supply of water (700 liters). Clean water is a basic human need, and Life straw helps millions purify their drinking water, saving them waterborne illness and death by dessication.  With all the technology squeezed into the 12.2 inches of this thing, you could drink mud with no worries.

Check out the video below. You can mix cow dung with your water and still be good.

Testing the Lifestraw: Cow sh!t to clean water video.


Environmental design, Area improvement design, Health related design, Make a difference design, Helpful/useful design


Money making venture vs. social improvement venture, Distribution/Use of LifeStraw vs. local methods of water purification, man vs nature, man vs man-polluted nature

-Roark Design (Assignment 0.3)

Eco-Friendly Design

7, نوفمبر 2010

TechTacular: Sarah Brand, Gita Khote, Hyuk Jin Yoon, Myke Jones


We wanted to find a case study that dealt with ecofriendly design and that would have a greater impact on larger cities since we live in Atlanta. Originally we found our idea after listening to a speech by Natalie Jeremijenko on design, engineering, and the ecosystem.  She spoke of a project about “texting fish.” Further research led us to learn about the project Amphibious Architecture which is being sponsored by the Architectural League.  This innovative idea leads to interaction between humans, fish, and their shared ecosystem.  This project uses a network of floating tubes in rivers that measure and monitor water quality, presence of fish, and human interest.  This system is currently in use in the East River and Bronx River in New York City.  These tubes float in the water with three feet above and three feet below.  At the top of the tube there is a light that glows different colors to convey changes in water quality. When dissolved oxygen is high, the light shines a blue-green color, and when it’s low it shines red.  The light also turns on when a fish swims under it, letting passerby beside the water know how abundant the fish population is in that area. People can also interact with this system by “texting the fish.”  When one sends the message, the floating buoy will blink twice to confirm that it has received the message.  The person will then get a response that contains the current status of the river (changes in oxygen levels, quantity of fish).  This project allows people to interact with and show an interest in their ecosystem.  This project is currently being presented at the ‘Toward the Sentient City’ exhibit at the Architectural League.

The taxonomic categories that we placed this project in are Bio-Interactive Design, Social Awareness Design, and Scientific Design.  These all show the different facets of design this project covers.  Some negotiations involved in this project might include how to implement this design without adversely affecting river life and traffic, how to financially accomplish this project on a larger scale, and how the materials and equipment will hold up against the water in the changing seasons.

This video is where we found both of our chosen design projects.  It discusses several other eco-design ideas as well.



As previously stated, we focused on case studies that deal with eco-friendly designs that can impact large cities such as Atlanta. As before, our second case study, a project know as “No Park”, originates from Natalie Jeremijenko’s “The Art of the Eco-mind Shift”, an address to correct environmental woes by combining art, engineering, environmentalism, and biochemistry to create real-life experiments that enable social change.  This innovative idea, designed by Xclinic (the environmental health clinic + lab) of New York University, is about landscaping the no parking fire hydrant spaces with mosses, grasses, and other vegetation. This environmental design provides several benefits, especially in cities, where many pollutants exist on streets. These micro-engineered green spaces prevent storm water run off; stop pollutants from traveling into estuary systems; stabilize soil through use of foliages; and provide durable low-maintenance surface cover. More importantly, these green spaces will decrease carbon dioxide levels by sequestering some of the airborne pollutants while at the same time infiltrating all road-born pollution. Furthermore, because the surface cover is filled with mosses and grasses, fire trucks can still park in these spaces for emergency. The flatten plants will be able to regenerate after the emergency situation, and continue to infiltrate pollutants during normal, non-emergency days.

Taxonomic categories

Activist Design, Urban Space Design, Environmental Corrective Design, Micro-Landscape Design, Fire-Hydrant Garden Design


Negotiations include: who maintains these green spaces and how they are maintained; how pedestrians and commuters treat these spaces; how the project is financed into who pays what; and where will these spaces exist and for how long.

Sources: (speech)