We don't generally think about the sociological impact of design. But in the poorest areas of Medellìn, Colombia, design is changing the lives of hundreds of thousands of its inhabitants with a strong message of education, jobs, and inclusion in the culture of a city with a very proud history.
A new center is opening today for the study of healthy minds; that's a change from the study of addicted, obsessed, and psychopathic minds. It may seem odd that a deeply religious and spiritual person, in fact a spiritual leader, would be the inspiration for this new center, but the Dalai Lama did lay the seeds for this endeavor by the Unversity of Wisconson's Waisman Center - about 20 years ago.
Swedish research and experimental design studio, the Interactive Institute, is focused on the use of 'new media,' the emerging digital and communication technologies of tomorrow. From its research, the Institute often embodies its findings in designs that not only implement new technologies, but have lifestyle implications embedded into its crisp, modern functional products. To illustrate, here are five Institute designs purposed with modifying your home energy use.