IKEA unveils plan to lift 200,000 people out of poverty

April 19, 2017 by  
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When most people think of IKEA , they most likely think of affordable furniture and trendy home accessories. But many people are unaware of the company’s lofty social goals. In addition to their efforts to promote sustainability , it turns out IKEA is also working on a plan to alleviate poverty for Syrian refugees and other disadvantaged people around the globe. IKEA recently announced it’s building new production centers in Jordan this summer, as part of a plan to create employment for 200,000 disadvantaged people around the world. The facilities will be open and running by August, and will provide jobs to refugees producing rugs, cushions, bedspreads, and other handmade woven items. These particular facilities are the result of a partnership with the Jordan River Foundation , a non-governmental organization founded by Jordan’s Queen Rania. To start out, these particular plants will only employ 100 people, rising to 400 within two years. About half will be local workers and the other half will be Syrian refugees . Related: IKEA’s Lena Pripp-Kovac talks to Inhabitat about their sustainability program The new production centers are just one of many projects the furniture giant is working to establish around the world. Already, they’ve launched programs to help Indian women and Sweden’s immigrant population, which employ about 2,000 people collectively. The ultimate goal is to eventually employ about 200,000 people around the world through these initiatives. Rather than lead the projects themselves, IKEA is teaming up with local social entrepreneurs – organizations that help use business solutions to alleviate poverty, rather than simply distributing aid. Not only does this help provide jobs for people who desperately need them, it also helps organizations that would normally be too small to meet IKEA’s supplier guidelines to get their work into stores around the globe. Related: IKEA is launching a whole range of “no waste” products made from recycled materials This isn’t the first time IKEA has used its clout for social good. The company also recently established the IKEA Foundation to help children in poor communities, and unveiled an award-winning flat-pack refugee shelter design . So the next time you buy a new bookshelf or visit just to sample the Swedish fare at the restaurant, you can feel good knowing your purchase is helping others around the world. Via Dezeen Images via YouTube/Screenshot

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IKEA unveils plan to lift 200,000 people out of poverty

This spellbinding icy blue throne was 3D-printed by robots

April 19, 2017 by  
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The robotically 3D-printed Voxel Chair 1.0 looks like it came straight out of a science fiction film. The futuristic mesh-like prototype was designed by Manuel Jimenez Garcia and Gilles Retsin , and manufactured using extruded PLA plastic through Robotic Additive Manufacturing Platform (RAMP), an innovative process that enables 3D printing of large-scale products with stunning detail and durability. The Voxel Chair, whose shape is inspired by the  Panton chair design, is the first prototype of its kind using new software that is specifically developed for robotic 3D printing. Unlike most 3D printing processes that use pre-defined forms, this innovative software – based on research by Manuel Jimenez Garcia and Gilles Retsin – allows for optimal control of thousands of line fragments. Related: Lilian van Daal creates a Biomimicry-inspired, 3D-printed chair Designed in collaboration with fabrication firms Nagami.Design and Vicente Soler, the chair was built out of transparent PLA, a non-toxic, biodegradable plastic that can be made out of various renewable resources like corn starch. Cyan-colored particles were mixed into the plastic to give the chair its unique glass-like appearance. The unique chair is just one example of how the RAMP process can be used to build stronger 3D-printed products . Considering the breakneck speed of advances in the field, unprecedented large-scale 3D objects are only a matter of time. The Voxel Chair 1.0 is currently on display at the Imprimer Le Monde in Centre Pompidou Paris. + Manuel Jimenez Garcia + Gilles Retsin Via Ignant Images via Manuel Jimenez Garcia, Gilles Retsin and Nagami.Design

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This spellbinding icy blue throne was 3D-printed by robots

This crazy boot-shaped tiny house could only exist in Texas

April 19, 2017 by  
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Only in Texas, people. This whimsical boot-shaped home may look like a quirky roadside stop, but it’s actually a fully functioning home available for rent . Designed and built by Dan Phillips of Phoenix Commotion – a firm that specializes in building affordable homes using reclaimed materials – the unique 2 bedroom, 1 bath home comes with custom features, a nice yard, and even a stunning rooftop deck “to boot”! The cowboy boot home, which is located in Huntsville, Texas, looks solitary from most angles, but it’s actually connected to a small tin-roofed bungalow with a wrap-around porch. The addition was added on to increase the total floorspace to a compact, but livable 711 square feet . Related: Beekeeper built dream hexagonal house without ‘hateful’ right angles Things are just as curious on the interior as they are outside. Dan Phillips has made a name for himself for building with whatever reclaimed materials he can find, and the cowboy boot house is no different. Throughout the home, the walls are clad in various wood pieces collected from other building sites. Shards of tiles make up the mosaic flooring, and parts of the ceiling are plastered in vintage record covers. The home has two bedrooms (one of which is accessed by ladder,) a single bathroom, and a kitchen clad in undulating metal sheets. A red spiral staircase leads to a rooftop deck located on the highest level of the boot. Although the boot home does have its roadside quality, the people behind the design, Phoenix Commotion, have more than just quirky homes in their portfolio. Since 1997, the company has constructed over 20 eco-friendly, affordable homes using reclaimed materials in the Huntsville area. All of their projects are built with help from future tenants, who tend to be low-income families. + Phoenix Commotion Via New Atlas Images via Har.com

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This crazy boot-shaped tiny house could only exist in Texas

Wool art installation repurposed into blankets for Syrian refugees

February 7, 2017 by  
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Although many of the exhibitions from the 2016 Amman Design Week surely left quite an impression on visitors, there is one art installation in particular whose longevity will be tangible for years to come. ENTRELAC by fiber artist Rayah Kassisieh was initially a monumental installation made up of 350 kilograms of un-dyed, handknitted wool strands that gracefully hung from the ceiling. However, once the event came to a close, the Brooklyn-based artist set out to repurpose her artwork into blankets for Syrian refugees and Jordanian families. The initial artwork consisted of enormous wool strands that represented the relationship between digital design and traditional craft. The artist used computational modeling to determine the intricate design of the strands, but the work was mainly the result of hand-crafted excellence by a team of talented seamstress es. The 28 large knit strands were cut and stitched by hand by twenty Jordanian women working from their homes or small workshops. Related: Ikea flat-pack refugee shelters awarded Design of the Year Once the event was coming to a close, the artist worked in collaboration with NADAAA ,  Boston-based architecture and urban design firm led by  designer Nader Tehrani, and the Amman Design Week team to repurpose her work into blankets. The same women who created the initial piece for the event then took on the responsibility to transform the material into 38 blankets for those in need . + Rayah Kassisieh  + NADAAA Photography by Hareth Tabbalat

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Wool art installation repurposed into blankets for Syrian refugees

Syrian refugee inventor builds an electric bike to get around camp

April 11, 2016 by  
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Even in a refugee camp , this man is working to build a better life. Safwan Harb fled Syria with two family members, and they settled in Zaatari , a refugee camp monitored by the United Nations and government of Jordan. Yet Harb and his family are all disabled, and it was difficult for them to get around on Zaatari’s uneven dirt streets. So Harb designed a creative electric bicycle . Read the rest of Syrian refugee inventor builds an electric bike to get around camp

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Syrian refugee inventor builds an electric bike to get around camp

Bernie Sanders invited to Vatican City for social justice conference

April 11, 2016 by  
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Environmental and social justice will be the topics at an upcoming meeting at the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences , and one US presidential hopeful has been invited to speak: Senator Bernie Sanders . The visit could be an important moment for the Senator to convey his ideas about the economy on a global scale. Read the rest of Bernie Sanders invited to Vatican City for social justice conference

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Bernie Sanders invited to Vatican City for social justice conference

Nazi-era Tempelhof Airport in Berlin to house more refugees

February 26, 2016 by  
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Germany’s Nazi-era Tempelhof Airport is currently housing hundreds of refugees seeking safety and shelter. Last week, experts began to reimagine the space – just in time to help accommodate the expected arrival of 800,000 displaced people into the country this year. Read the rest of Nazi-era Tempelhof Airport in Berlin to house more refugees

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This jacket transforms into a wearable shelter for refugees

January 31, 2016 by  
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A group of graduate students at London’s Royal College of Art have come up with a genius solution to the Syrian refugee crisis: a hooded jacket that can transform into a sleeping bag or tent. Each one is big enough to house an adult and one child. The makers are currently crowdfunding so these can go into mass production! READ MORE >

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This jacket transforms into a wearable shelter for refugees

Groundbreaking UN app helps feed Syrian refugee children with pocket change

November 13, 2015 by  
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The United Nations has released a groundbreaking new app that allows users to help feed refugee children with mere pocket change. While many charity programs offer opportunities for concerned global citizens to help those displaced by war and other atrocities, ShareTheMeal is unique in accepting donations as low as 50 cents, which is enough to feed a child for a day. Very easy to use, the app sends donations to the World Food Program (WFP), which uses the proceeds to distribute food to children living in Jordan’s Al-Za’tari refugee camp. Read the rest of Groundbreaking UN app helps feed Syrian refugee children with pocket change

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