The fourth annual exhibition at the Cooper Hewitt Design Museum in Manhattan is the most eco-conscious exhibition so far. As The New York Times writes, "Design as defined here isn't about how to make the House Beautiful more beautiful; it's about how to keep the globe afloat and ensure that all its occupants have access to a healthy patch of it."
Solar rechargeable battery lanterns
The show is divided into several thematic groupings (energy, simplicity, transportation, health and prosperity, materials) all of which underscore the idea that design, in all its forms, should deliver the maximum social good to the maximum number of people.
A hand-driven grain thresher, now being field-tested in Mali, is made from a bicycle wheel.
A plug-in vehicle called the MIT CityCar is designed for short-term urban use.
(Images: 1. Chester Higgins Jr./The New York Times; 2. Sunlabob Renewable Energy Co. Ltd; 3. Smart Cities Rendering by MIT Media Lab; 4. F. S. Rodriguez-Sanchez)