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The Urban Confessional Project Sends Volunteers To Do Nothing But Listen To Your Problems

Standing in public places with signs that say “Free Listening,” the members of the project want to let you get your problems off your shoulders.<p>Twice a week, small groups of people head out to the streets of Los Angeles, hold up “Free Listening” signs, and then listen to anyone who wants to talk. …

Homelessness

5 Clever Architectural Strategies For Conserving Water

The AIA recognized these five buildings for their water-wise approach.<p>It’s been a soggy spring on the West Coast, as El Nino rainstorms have recharged many of the reservoirs. But experts say it’s not enough to wash away the specter of drought on this perpetually parched region of the country. While …

How Designers Are Helping HIV Researchers Find A Vaccine

Rethinking how scientists share data—especially the inconclusive results—may be the key.<p>The Collaboration for AIDS Vaccine Discovery (CAVD) consists of a group of labs across the world, all pooling their data with one goal in mind: to create an AIDS vaccine as fast as possible. But the theory of …

"Superhero Cyborgs" Workshops Let Kids Design Their Own Prosthetics

KIDmob and Autodesk are working together to help kids produce their own customized prosthetics, allowing them to get creative and learn valuable skills at the same time. During their Superhero Cyborgs workshop, kids (both with and without disabilities) work with engineers and designers to produce …

3D Printing

Target Just Launched a Gender Neutral Kids' Decor Collection

The new line, called Pillowfort, eschews pink and blue for more inclusive — and creative — designs.<p>Target made waves in August 2015 when it announced it would no longer classify toys as boy- or girl-specific.<p>Their gender neutral approach to kids' products was applauded by many, but some fans of the …

Can a Game Help Build Affordable Housing?

To break through gridlock on fair housing, officials in wealthy Westchester County, New York, try a new tactic.<p>Real-estate experts and affordable housing advocates in two towns gathered not long ago to play pretend with plastic blocks.<p>This new way of considering development possibilities is no …

This Bandage Glows Fluorescent Green When You’re About To Get An Infection

Researchers at University of Bath may have figured out a way to solve a major issue in medicine: diagnosing and treating wound infections.<p>Color-changing fabrics and textiles have led to some novel lines of clothing, but researchers are envisioning uses for the technology that go beyond mere …

Virtual Reality Therapy: Treating The Global Mental Health Crisis

Most of us experience some level of stress and anxiety in our lives. It can be relatively mild or extremely severe and debilitating — or anywhere along the spectrum. Some examples include general stress at work, relationship issues, fears and phobias, depression and other anxiety disorders, …

A village made of Moon dust

A German scientist is using James Bond technology to help design a brickworks on the Moon.<p>Despite the Man with the Golden Gun having a powerful weapon, this 1974 Bond outing is generally considered one of the most flaccid of the franchise.<p>The story limps from London to Thailand, with our hero on …

Engineering

A Budget Exoskeleton Allows Paraplegics To Walk–For The Price Of A Car

The Phoenix lets paraplegic people sit, stand, and walk. It costs just $40,000. Here’s how the designers pulled it off.<p>In 2005, Steven Sanchez was trying to do a flip off a BMX dirt ramp when he was paralyzed from the belly button down. 11 years later, with no miracle surgery to speak of, he stands …

How This Startup Designed the Helmet That Could Save the NFL

With the Zero1, Seattle-based Vicis has created a helmet that could reduce the chance of concussions. Here's how the company did it.<p>Sunday night marks the 50th Super Bowl in NFL history. The sport has never been more popular: More than 114 million Americans watched last year's game, and that number …

How Polling Station Design Could Influence Elections

Poorly designed polling stations could discourage some people from voting. Time to adopt a universal design standard.<p>Today, an estimated half a million people in New Hampshire will go to the polls to vote in the Republican and Democratic primaries, and in the weeks ahead, many other Americans will …

What If Seattle Put A Park And Affordable Housing On Top Of This Highway?

The highway goes out of sight, where it won’t bother anyone. On top: things the city really needs.<p>When a new freeway bulldozed through Seattle in 1962, it cut the city in half. The government wanted to build a cap on top, to help reconnect neighborhoods, but couldn’t afford it. Now, a team of …

Urban Design

How To Design For Autism

The architect behind the Center of Autism and the Developing Brain says the key is to be sensitive to light, sight, textures, and sounds.<p>Problem: many autistic kids are super sensitive to the sight, sound, and feel of their environment. So when New York-Presbyterian decided to build an early …

This House Costs Just $20,000—But It’s Nicer Than Yours

Rural Studio’s $20K House has such innovative design that it’s changing the entire housing system–from mortgages to zoning laws.<p>For over a decade, architecture students at Rural Studio, Auburn University’s design-build program in a tiny town in West Alabama, have worked on a nearly impossible …

Housing