Top Designs of 2017 – Creating a Better Future

It’s coming to the end of the year where we have the chance to take a glance over what 2017 has brought to us, and also what it means for the future. We assess 10 designs that have emerged this year and how they are working towards a more sustainable future.

Liuzhou Forest City by Stefano Boeri

This quite brilliant design of a ‘vertical forest city’ aimed at tackling the issue of smog in China is one of our favourites. As global warming and climate change is an increasing problem year on year, this is a very inventive and beautiful way of trying to take on the problem. To successfully make a difference you would be correct in thinking there would need to be a fair few trees, so the new city will feature nearly 40,000 trees and almost one million plants, comprising 100 different species.

Liuzhou Forest City - Stefano Boeri - Design For The Future

Liuzhou Forest City – Stefano Boeri – Design For The Future

IKEA’s Social Sustainability Drive

Although this is not a tangible design, it’s being driven by one of the most recognisable and widely-used design companies out there so were going to allow it in. IKEA have announced a huge social sustainability drive by taking 200,000 people out of poverty and into employment. They already employ refugees in production centres in Jordan and has shown it’s desire to expand this further.

Eco-Friendly Flat-Packed Furniture by Pentatonic (feature image)

The new company Pentatonic have create a range of furniture made from waste materials like cigarette butts and cans driven by their intent to “radically transform consumption culture”. They also allow consumers to sell back items to the company to avoid waste.

The Ocean Cleanup by Boyan Slat

The issue of waste in our oceans affecting the balance of life at sea has been tackled by Dutch engineering student Boyan Slat. He has created a floating barrier that slowly pushes waste to shore and this huge project is set to begin in 2018 starting at the Great Pacific Garbage Patch which is a large collection of rubbish in the Pacific.

Ocean Cleanup - Boyan Slat - Designs For The Future

Ocean Cleanup – Boyan Slat – Designs For The Future

Open Homes by Airbnb

This is a programme created by Airbnb which aims to house refugees for free and it aims to provide temporary housing for 100,000 people within five years.

Smog Free Bike by Daan Roosegaarde 

This is really an incredible piece of design. A bike that consumes polluted air, cleans it and then exhales the clean air onto the cyclist to not only lessen the damaging effect of pollutants on the cyclist’s lungs, but clean up the city’s air as well.

Smog-free Bike - Designs For the Future

Smog-free Bike – Designs For the Future

Floor Tiles by Pavegen

London based company Pavegen have created something quite brilliant. Tiles on streets that, when stepped on, can provide energy to power public lights. The tiles harness the kinetic energy of the pedestrian which the generators convert to energy which can be used by LED lights. They say that one footstep can power one light for 20 seconds.

Energy saving pavements - Pavegen - Designs For The Future

Energy saving pavements – Pavegen – Designs For The Future