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    Imagine you live in one of the major metropolises in the world. Beijing, Istanbul, Lima. London, Rotterdam, New York. Culturally diverse and geologically distant from each other, globalisation, however, has reshaped the way cities function, where resources and ideas flow freely beyond the restriction of distance and languages.

    The debates of the pros and cons of globalisation have been around for a while. The doubt is mainly around the U.S. hegemony, or the American style of urban development. However, if we can recognise all the great ideas and innovations in other parts of the world, and implement them in places in need, globalisation may eventually do good for all of us.

    When you walk around the “Design of the year 2015″ exhibition at Design Museum in London, you may awe at how new designs which combine innovative ideas and the cutting edge technologies can benefit cities around the world. Those designs aim to improve everyday life and are transferrable in cultures and locations. More importantly, many designers bear in mind creating more sustainable cities for their dwellers.

    (摄影:Mirren Rosie)


    text Chen Shanshan /// editor TS

    1、Loopwheels – TRANSPORT

    Now, imagine you are taking a walk or ride in a megacity, wherever it is in the world…

    Your cool new city bike is equipped with Loopwheels, a new kind of shock absorption wheels with a spring system made of three carbon composite loops in replacement of the spokes inside the wheels. The carbon composite springs allow the hub to float within the rigid rim of the wheel, constantly adjusting to the terrain, but are stiff enough to be driven like a normal wheel. So, you shall never worry about go up or down a kerb and go over bumps and potholes.The wheels can also be used on wheelchairs.


    (designed by Sam Pearce for Jelly Products / Photography: Mirren Rosie)




    (Pictures from internet)

    2. Google Self-driving Car – TRANSPORTATION

    Not feeling active? Then you may want to take a ride on your Google self-driving car. Hopefully you will soon be used to this cutie that has no steering wheel or pedals. Fully controlled by Google’s software and hardware, Google self-driving car makes the journey as simple as pushing a button.


    designed by YooJung Ahn (Lead Industrial Designer), Jared Gross (Industrial Designer), Philipp Haban (Industrial designer) / Photography: Courtesy of the designers)

    3. Markthal Rotterdam, Rotterdam, the Netherlands – ARCHITECTURE

    You walk to the market for some fresh food. Located in the center of Rotterdam, Markthal Rotterdam is the first covered food market of the Netherlands. The market itself hide under an unusual “n” shaped residential building with 228 flats, whose residents has a view either towards the historic Laurenskwartier, or towards the market through windows or a glass floor made of sound and smell proof triple glazing.


    (designed by MVRDV / Photography: Courtesy of the designers)

    4. Disclosed – DIGITAL

    If you are not sure which products to buy, why not consult Disclosed (DIGITAL) application on your mobile phone? The service concept offers a transparency certification and data ecosystem that aim to help shoppers make more informed choices by delivering simple, accessible and tailored information that asserts consumers’ personal values. You will need to answer a set of questions to find the most suitable products for you. For example, do you prefer a cheaper kind of cereal that contains more than average sugar and fat or a more expensive healthier alternative? Will you choose a box of organic eggs which will cost double the price of a box produced by caged hens? After a set of choices, Disclosed will point to the directions of the products for you.


    (designed by Marlon Ferret at the Royal College of Art, London, In collaboration with Kate Wakely / Photography: Courtesy of the designers)

    5. Air-purifying billboard – PRODUCT

    Now you are enjoying the ever fresher air in Lima, Peru as the result of the newly built billboards. The Air-purifying billboard looks ordinary enough, but it can attract and filter pollution from the sky, returning purified air to the surrounding area at a rate equivalent to the work of 1,200 mature trees. It can also remove dust, metal and stone particles from contaminated air-space around construction zones.


    (designed by the University of Engineering and Technology of Peru / Photography: Courtesy of the designers)

    6. Blue Diversion Toilet – PRODUCT

    Not only air pollution, but water sanitation is affecting people’s life around the globe: 2.5 billion people have no access to safe sanitation, which causes severe diarrhoea. This condition kills 1.8 million people each year, primarily children under the age of 5. In those under-resourced areas, such as slums and shantytowns, Blue Diversion Toilet provides a safe sanitation solution. The dry toilet is not connected to piped water, sewers or electricity. The used water is recovered directly in the toilet by means of an innovative, energy-efficient and maintenance-free membrane bioreactor. This multi-barrier water treatment system provides about 7 Litres of hygienically safe water per user and day with little energy – provided by a small solar panel on the roof – and only minimal water losses.


    (designed by Eawag (The Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology) and EOOS / Photography: Mirren Rosie)

    7. Garden School / Beijing No.4 High School Fangshan Campus, Beijing, China – ARCHITECTURE

    In China, a country dependent on rice as staple food, Garden School, Beijing No.4 High School Fangshan Campus, is designed as part of a larger scheme to build a healthier and self-sustainable new town just outside Beijing. The roof-top of the upper building is an organic farm, with 36 plots – one for each class in the school, providing students the opportunity to learn the techniques of farming and bringing the city children closer to the nature.


    (designed by OPEN Architecture / Photography: Courtesy of the designers)

    8. Shadowing – DIGITAL

    Now it’s getting dark, go and have some fun with the street lights! Shadowing, an interactive installation embedded in streetlights throughout the British city Bristol, captures the shadow of a pedestrian as they pass underneath the streetlight and then projecting it back to accompany the next person who passes by.


    (designed by Jonathan Chomoko, Matthew Rosler / Photography: Courtesy of the designers)

    9. Responsive street Furniture – DIGITAL

    On the other hand, Responsive street Furniture allows disabled people with different kinds of impairments to have helpful services from the furniture. They can register their smartphones or order a low-cost key fob from a website, and when they pass the furniture, it will accordingly give brighter street lighting, longer crossing times or audio information. The system could also be used for tourists and foreign visitors – providing audio information in native and foreign languages.


    (designed by Ross Atkin (Conceptual design and digital system development), Jonathan Scott (Physical design and engineering) / Photography: Courtesy of the designers)

    10. House for Trees, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam – ARCHITECTURE

    Now you are back to your House for Trees. Five concrete boxes are designed as “pots” to plant tropical trees on their tops. It is an effort to reduce daily traffic exhaustion and to bring back the scene of tropical forests in Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam. With thick soil layer, these pots also function as storm-water basins for retention, therefore contribute to reduce the risk of flooding when the idea is multiplied to a large number of houses in the future.


    (designed by Vo Trong Nghia Architects / Photography: Courtesy of the designers)

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