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These Emergency Shelters Made From Earthquake Rubble Will Inspire You

Japanese architect Shigeru Ban responds to the post-quake crisis in Nepal with brilliant design.

When large-scale, whole-region-engulfing tragedy hits, humanity is lucky to have an architect like Shigeru Ban. In the past, his disaster relief designs and inventive use of eco-friendly materials, like water-proof and fire-proof paper tubes, have helped countries like his native Japan bounce back from catastrophe. For his newest project, the former winner of the prestigious Pritzker Prize has funneled his formidable talent into the creation of an ambitious plan: a way to turn salvaged brick from earthquakes into temporary relief shelters. When April’s 7.8 magnitude Nepal earthquake shook the traditionally peaceful region, Ban went to work outlining a series of blueprints for modular shelters made of wooden frameworks filled in with brick rubble. Though the announcement was made in May, it’s only this week that we’ve finally been able to peek at what’s to come.

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How Good Design Helped Bring Light to a Remote Area of Indonesia

1.3 billion people around the world live without electricity. Here’s how a design challenge is starting to change that.

The Cut Out the Darkness donation ceremony in Sone, Indonesia

Last month, 110 solar lanterns dangled from simple wooden poles as part of a small evening ceremony in Sone, a remote Indonesian village in the mountains of West Timor. Before the lanterns arrived, Sone’s inhabitants were among the 1.3 billion people around the world who live without electricity, making such nighttime gatherings a rare occasion.

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