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Mark Wieczorek

New York, NY, United States

Webmaster

Member since May 04, 2007


  • Mosquito Trap

    Poverty, Industrial Design

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    Last night a mosquito made its way into my room. I know because I woke up in the middle of the night itching. I've always found that spray bottles filled with water (so I don't get Windex on anything or anyone) are better than fly swatters when it comes to mosquitoes because they're so light that just a few drops of water is enough to slow them down. But I didn't know where the bugger had gone off to. So I googled around a bit and found this:

    A quick and dirty mosquito trap designed by students in Taiwan! It uses a few simple household materials and appears to be very effective. It creates a funnel that's easy to get into and difficult to get out of. Since mosquitoes are attracted to carbon dioxide (they use it to find animals - all animals breathe out carbon dioxide), they enter the contraption and have a hard time figuring out how to leave.

    Mosquitoes are a big problem in many parts of the world - not just as pests, but as carriers of disease as well. I've seen industrial sized mosquito traps that use propane or special cartridges as the source of carbon dioxide, but they're bulky and expensive (on the low end they're over $100). This is simple, easy to make, and effective. Definitely a Good Design Idea!

    Also check out the Water Cone which is another good design idea using similar materials.

    ...
  • Data Visualization

    Communication, Communication Design

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    My inner Tufte is champing at the bit to dig into this list of Data Visualizations. on Smashing Magazine.com.

    There's so much data out there that needs to be interpreted and displayed in interesting, compelling ways - ways that can move people to action, ways that can show progress or setbacks. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words, and some of these graphs as compelling as a picture.

  • Call me old fashioned, but I believe...

    Environment, Environmental Design

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    ... that plastic should be grown in a vat and pollute the environment. Australian based Plantic wants to change all this by growing biodegradable plastic in a corn field, like biofuels.

    What's the world coming to? Pretty soon we'll have cars that get more than 50 miles to the gallon and run on batteries.

  • What the World Eats

    Poverty, Communication Design

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    In this photo essay, time Peter Menzel shows families from around the world gathered with one week's worth of food. I don't know whose diet mine is closest too, but my expanding belly says I'm an American.

    What the World Eats, Part 1

  • The Watercone

    Poverty, Industrial Design

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    The Watercone is one of those brilliant "Why didn't anyone think of that before" devices. You fill it with salt water and wait while the heat from the sun causes the water to evaporate, catching it in a gutter on the side - distilling the water. When it's done, you flip it over and open the bottle top to release the water. A simple, low-cost way to distill fresh water from salt water.

    via The Seitch Blog

  • Going Eco-Friendly with Frodo

    Environment, Environmental Design

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    The Low Impact Woodland Home and it's accompanying village project has got to be one of the coolest things I've seen in a while. Ecologically friendly and built into the side of a hill, it's... well, it's hobbit hole.

    Built in 4 months and for around £3000, the designer claims that the skills required to build one of these homes are within the reach of anyone. And they're planning on building a village next year to prove it.

    Sort of reminds me of William McDonough 's city proposal for China. (click through to the last chapter of the video)

    via Core 77

  • Who inspired I'm Not a Plastic Bag?

    Environment, Fashion Design

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    There’s some debate about who inspired I’m Not a Plastic Bag.

    Was it Miranda from Sex in the City?

    Sex in the City in 2002: Miranda is spotted sporting a bag that says “Stop Using Plastic Bags” while ironically carrying a plastic cup. Credits say it’s a “Green leaf Raffe tote”

    Or was it inspired by a charity?

    E: How did “I’m Not a Plastic Bag” come about?

    A.H. We were approached by a charity called We Are What We Do, a global social change movement. It really appeals to me because it’s all about personal responsibility, and I think that’s something that people have completely lost sight of. People endlessly blame the government, and the fact is, it’s up to us….It was with a group of very creative advertising types who realize that if it’s too onerous and heavy-duty and demanding of people, they’ll lose interest. And I think that’s very fundamental. They came to see us 2 1/2 years ago with this book called Change the World for Five Pounds. In the book are 50 actions of personal responsibility issues, and the first action was, wherever possible, refuse plastic bags. And they wanted to make the first action into a product.

    Image: HBO

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  • Tornado hits Brooklyn

    Environment, Industrial Design

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    Treehugger had a piece about the recent flooding in NYC. Their post called for "more sustainable infrastructure." At first, I agreed with the commenter who said "Come on, a tornado hit Brooklyn, how often does that happen?" (The answer is: never - not once since we started keeping records using modern technology in 1950. Though I remember a few years back a debate about whether or not one had hit Staten Island.)

    Then I remembered the High Water Line project and thought - "oh right, isn't global warming supposed to be creating wilder weather?"

    While there is some debate in the scientific community about whether or not we will be experiencing more frequent & more severe storms, this could be just one more signpost, one more indicator of what the future holds in store.

    Maybe we should start preparing for more events like this as the climate brings more & more potential devastation.

    References: NY Times, Weather Underground, USA Today

    Photo Credit JGNY

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  • Cabon Labels

    Environment, Environmental Design

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    Whenever I go to Whole Foods and I want to get a bottle of water (yes, bottled water - Whole Foods hasn't taken the step I noticed Barnes & Noble taking of offering tap water for free) with my salad, I always try to pick the most locally produced bottle - shipping water in from Fiji seems a bit gratuitous. But it's not easy to check the labels on each to figure out which come from 100 miles away and which come from 1,000 miles away.

    In the UK a group called Carbon Trust has developed a Carbon Label, which applies a commonly accepted standard to labeling a product's carbon footprint all the way "from the source to the store."

    Though I prefer the positive message of the Eco Nutrition labels from our Heated Issue campaign, the simplicity and accountability sounds like a winning combination. Now how do we set up one of these in America?

    via Organic Picks

  • Wash your clothes without detergent

    Environment, Industrial Design

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    Detergents are pretty bad for the environment. They're made of chemicals that surround dirt to whisk it away from your clothes, but those chemicals stick around and do nasty things. Earth friendly detergents are better, but this solution may be the best yet - Haier's Wash2o uses no detergents at all. Instead, it separates H2O into positive and negative ions, breaking the surface tension and allowing it to surround dirt and whisk it away.... just like detergent. (At least in theory.)

    It will be available in France soon and will cost about 700 Euros.

    Via Apartment Therapy

My Interests

  • Industrial Design
  • Environmental Design
  • Communication Design
  • Fashion Design
  • Audio/Visual Design