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I got my job as a designer without going to design school.

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Urban Wander: Curating a City's Hidden Public Spaces

As a San Francisco native and resident, I’ve accumulated a long list of local spots to share with visiting friends and family. These public...

As a San Francisco native and resident, I’ve accumulated a long list of local spots to share with visiting friends and family. These public spaces provide a more vibrant city experience and make up the authentic fabric of San Francisco (sorry, Pier 39!). Everyone has their own favorite hidden spots throughout the city that might include stairwells, parklets, murals, slides, and POPOS.

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This Instagram for Maps Will Make a Cartographer Out of You Yet

Good-looking maps used to be the domain of experts. That’s been changing quite a bit in the last few years, and it’s easier than ever now for...

Good-looking maps used to be the domain of experts. That’s been changing quite a bit in the last few years, and it’s easier than ever now for developers to access mapping data (the recent State of the Map US conference was a great place to hear about this). Never content to leave well enough alone, we thought we’d kick this sideways a bit and make it easy for the rest of us to make some great stuff.

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This post is part of a series from students in the Master of Arts in Social Design program at Maryland Institute College of Art, which focuses on how design can reimagine solutions to world challenges. Over eight weeks, MASD students will each share part of their personal thesis journey. Follow the series at good.is/MASD.\n

"Before we start, I want you to promise me something," Lee said, his eyes serious.

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Last month, GOOD held a Hacking Energy Culture hackathon at Maryland Institute College of Art, aimed at generating new ways to interface with energy consumption, waste, and preservation. This solution, from teammates Noah Boyle, Christine Brown, Maria Chimiskyan and Bryan Connor, received the people's choice award.\n
When it comes to energy use, changing our behavior is no easy task. We watch stirring documentaries, worry about toxic power plants, and try to calculate our carbon footprint, but at the end of the day we are set in our electrical ways.
What’s On is a new app that helps reduce electricity use by speaking in a language everyone can understand: money.
[vimeo][/vimeo]
The app makes you aware of the direct cost of the energy you're using by letting you track the appliances that are turned on or plugged in at home. Push notifications ask you "What's On?" and, with an easy to use checklist, you can watch your estimated energy bill drop in real time.
The app also helps tackle vampire energy by revealing the power consumed while appliances are plugged in but aren't in use. Many products constantly use energy in order to turn on faster but, over time, some use more energy in standby mode than in the short time they're actively being used. According to the Energy Information Administration, vampire energy costs U.S. consumers more than $3 billion a year and can be up to 25 percent of your energy costs.
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Virtual Pet Therapy: Technology Lets Hospitalized Kids Play With Cats

Reach-in and Open Lab Idaho have created technology that allows remote viewers to access a direct video feed of animal shelters to interact with cats.

Pet therapy in hospitals helps boost health, but for some young cancer patients with weakened immune systems, it's not an option. New interactive technology is providing the next best thing: a direct video feed into an animal shelter, where remote viewers can control robotic cat toys and watch the cats respond.

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