Humane Solutions for a Resilient World

Posted June 30, 2010

The idea of humane solutions for a resilient world would suggest that our world is resilient, as in durable or resistant to decay. In reality, the inverse is true. Our world is very fragile, and demands solutions that can balance out our expanding needs with the need to sustain our world.

Resiliency would be a word that I would use to describe ourselves. Humans exist in nearly every place imaginable on earth, and show amazing tenacity to adapt to their surroundings. What we need most right now is for that amazing human penchant for adaptability to meet our shared challenges.

The challenges are well documented. The nature of globalization has essentially localized nearly every major problem, from oil spills to volcanic eruptions. It is an accepted fact that we now collectively face complex problems that relate specifically to the demands we place on the earth – climate change, natural disasters, wars, famine, and water access are but a few of these interconnected issues.

The positive side of the global connectivity is that there is now a global communication network, that allows people to communicate ideas and resources freely. Designers across the globe can become aware of needs, design solutions to address those needs, and provide methods to implement designs.

In fact, it is increasingly hard not to be inspired by the multitude of Humane Solutions that are currently in production.  Some of my favorites are: Open-Source House, Chase Community Giving and Brooklyn Grange.  Open-Source House provides sustainable housing in low-income countries. Close to home, Chase Community Giving is a Facebook application that allows people to decide which local charities receive cash donations from Chase Bank.  The average donations tend to be in the 5 million dollar range. Finally, on a much more local level, I love the concept of turning urban roofs into food production “fields” – Brooklyn Grange has an indie rock approach to farming that I find irresistible, just like their basil!

ESI Design

NBBJ’s New York experience design studio, ESI Design, transforms places into experiences that seamlessly weave the physical and digital worlds together.

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