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These Designs Have Made the World a Much Better Place

by Rick Anderson

Helping others through the healing creativity of art is priceless. Whether it's creating a sense of community among those displaced by war or spreading awareness about an imminent issue in the form of a mural, design in 2017 cultivated humanity in a year of ups and downs. Below are eight standout architectural and design contributions that will continue to change the world far beyond this year.

Harugei Malchut, Tel Aviv, Israel

Designed by HQ Architects, led by architect Erez Ella, Harugei Malchut in Tel Aviv is the urban renewal project that is changing the face of Israel by conforming to the construction and preservation policy known as TAMA 38. Created by upgrading existing buildings to comply with new building policies around natural disasters and political conflicts, Harugei Malchut is putting forth a model that will help citizens to live in a modern and safe building affordably.

Summer Studio 2017, Brooklyn, New York

In a beautiful collaboration between Groundswell, a Brooklyn community arts nonprofit, and Gensler’s internship program, a stunning mural centered around immigration was installed at PS 373 this past summer called, “Flight of Freedom.”

Kachumbala Maternity Ward, Kachumbala, Uganda

As a country with limited access to healthcare, Uganda was the perfect place to construct a maternity ward for local residents in the city of Kachumbala. Taking into account the lack of access to electricity and clean water, HKS Architects made sure the structure would not be inhibited by these factors, building in a purifying system for rainwater and relying completely on solar power.

The Wing SoHo, New York

Dubbed the “home base for women,” The Wing, a female-only members club, opened its second location in New York’s SoHo neighborhood this year. The open working spaces, stunning color-coded library, and witty tile work cultivate creative energy for women to come together and change the world.

Cass Community Tiny Homes, Detroit

These beautiful tiny homes not only work to fight homelessness in Detroit but also provide a unique rent-to-own opportunity, giving tenants a second chance to create a new life for themselves.

Thomas Hughes Children’s Library, Chicago

Featuring a brand-new redesign led by Gensler, the Thomas Hughes Children’s Library focuses on providing local Chicago children and families with state-of-the-art learning facilities, focusing on igniting the curiosity within children, inviting learning naturally.

Marston Court, London

Constructed using old shipping containers, Marston Court in the London borough of Ealing is a 34-unit housing complex created for emergency housing and fighting the homeless epidemic, designed by both the Ealing Council and QED Property.

Refugee Camp Community Center, Mannheim, Germany

A group of architecture students from the University of Kaiserslautern built a stunning community center for a refugee camp in Mannheim. Over the course of three months, the students worked with refugees to design and build the lattice-front structure, creating a common space for residents to build a natural sense of community.

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