written by:
October 18, 2011

The second in a series of themed exhibitions by the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum that demonstrate how design can address the world’s most critical issues, "Design with the Other 90%: Cities," opened this past week at the United Nations in New York City. Organized by Cynthia E. Smith, the museum’s curator of socially responsible design, the exhibition features more than 60 projects from 22 countries around the globe and explores design solutions to the challenges created by rapid urban growth in informal settlements (a.k.a. slums). The exhibition is free to the public and runs through Jan. 9, 2012. Here's a glimpse at some of the projects on view, from a "favela painting project" in Rio de Janeiro to Floating Community Lifeboats in Bangladesh, which provide space for solar-powered schools, libraries, clinics and community centers in response to rising waters and extreme density.

The Incremental Housing project in Iquique, Chile, and Monterrey, Mexico produces half-finished houses that are completed by the residents and contain only the essentials of a built home—bathroom, kitchen, structure and roof—in order to stretch resources
The Incremental Housing project in Iquique, Chile, and Monterrey, Mexico produces half-finished houses that are completed by the residents and contain only the essentials of a built home—bathroom, kitchen, structure and roof—in order to stretch resources further to meet the rapidly growing demand for housing. Concrete, brick concrete, wood panel houses by architects Alejandro Aravena, Tomás Cortese, Emilio de la Cerda, Andrés Iacobelli, and Alfonso Montero, Elemental (Chile). Iquique, Chile, 2003-4. Photo courtesy of Elemental.
1 / 9
An "after" photo of Incremental Housing, after the residents have filled in the rest of the structure, expanding their own living spaces.
An "after" photo of Incremental Housing, after the residents have filled in the rest of the structure, expanding their own living spaces.
2 / 9
Praça Cantão Favela Painting project in Santa Marta, Rio de Janeiro, where artists engaged community members to paint the building exteriors in their neighborhood, calling international media attention to their need for improvement. Photo courtesy Austr
Praça Cantão Favela Painting project in Santa Marta, Rio de Janeiro, where artists engaged community members to paint the building exteriors in their neighborhood, calling international media attention to their need for improvement. Photo courtesy Australfoto/Douglas Engle.
Courtesy of 
© Douglas Engle 2010
3 / 9
The Integral Urban Project in the neighborhood of San Rafael-Barrio Unido in Caracas, Venezuela, upgraded the extremely vertical settlement with an improved network of stairs that integrate drainage, sewage and clean water infrastructure. Photo courtesy o
The Integral Urban Project in the neighborhood of San Rafael-Barrio Unido in Caracas, Venezuela, upgraded the extremely vertical settlement with an improved network of stairs that integrate drainage, sewage and clean water infrastructure. Photo courtesy of PROYECTOS ARQUI 5 C.A.
4 / 9
"Yerwada Slum Upgrading Project," SPARC Samudaya Nirman Sahayak (SSNS) and Pune Municipal Corporation, with SPARC (Society for the Promotion of Area Resource Centres), NSDF (National Slum Dwellers' Federation), and Mahila Milan, Shack/Slum Dwellers Intern
"Yerwada Slum Upgrading Project," SPARC Samudaya Nirman Sahayak (SSNS) and Pune Municipal Corporation, with SPARC (Society for the Promotion of Area Resource Centres), NSDF (National Slum Dwellers' Federation), and Mahila Milan, Shack/Slum Dwellers International (SDI) affiliates. Yerwada slum, Pune, India, 2008-present. Photo courtesy of SDI.
5 / 9
Floating Community Lifeboats in Bangladesh provide space for solar-powered schools, libraries, clinics and community centers in response to rising waters and extreme density. Photo courtesy of Abir Abdullah/Shidhulai Swanirvar Sangstha.
Floating Community Lifeboats in Bangladesh provide space for solar-powered schools, libraries, clinics and community centers in response to rising waters and extreme density. Photo courtesy of Abir Abdullah/Shidhulai Swanirvar Sangstha.
6 / 9
The Jiko ya jamii (Community Cooker) is a large-scale oven that uses trash as fuel to power a communal cooking facility in Kibera, Nairobi. Photo courtesy of Community Cooker–Jiko Ya Jamii.
The Jiko ya jamii (Community Cooker) is a large-scale oven that uses trash as fuel to power a communal cooking facility in Kibera, Nairobi. Photo courtesy of Community Cooker–Jiko Ya Jamii.
Courtesy of 
Peter Greste
7 / 9
The School on Wheels in Pune, India is a mobile and adaptable classroom, 2000–present. Photo courtesy Vijay Gondi.
The School on Wheels in Pune, India is a mobile and adaptable classroom, 2000–present. Photo courtesy Vijay Gondi.
8 / 9
The Digital Drum in Kampala, Uganda is a solar-powered information access point made from two durable, low-cost oil drums welded together, rugged keyboards, solar panels and low-power tablets. Photo courtesy UNICEF Uganda/2010/Jean-Marc Lefébure.<br /><b
The Digital Drum in Kampala, Uganda is a solar-powered information access point made from two durable, low-cost oil drums welded together, rugged keyboards, solar panels and low-power tablets. Photo courtesy UNICEF Uganda/2010/Jean-Marc Lefébure.

Don't miss a word of Dwell! Download our FREE app from iTunes, friend us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter!

9 / 9
The Incremental Housing project in Iquique, Chile, and Monterrey, Mexico produces half-finished houses that are completed by the residents and contain only the essentials of a built home—bathroom, kitchen, structure and roof—in order to stretch resources
The Incremental Housing project in Iquique, Chile, and Monterrey, Mexico produces half-finished houses that are completed by the residents and contain only the essentials of a built home—bathroom, kitchen, structure and roof—in order to stretch resources further to meet the rapidly growing demand for housing. Concrete, brick concrete, wood panel houses by architects Alejandro Aravena, Tomás Cortese, Emilio de la Cerda, Andrés Iacobelli, and Alfonso Montero, Elemental (Chile). Iquique, Chile, 2003-4. Photo courtesy of Elemental.

Join the Discussion

Loading comments...

Latest Articles

Studio addition in Seattle
An architect couple sets out to transform a run-down property.
February 08, 2016
West Elm coffee table, custom Joybird sofa, and matching Jens Risom chairs in living room of Westchester renovation by Khanna Shultz.
Every Monday, @dwell and @designmilk invite fans and experts on Twitter to weigh in on trending topics in design.
February 08, 2016
modern lycabettus penthouse apartment living room vertical oak slats
For the modernists among us, these spare spaces are a dream come true.
February 08, 2016
The square fountain at the courtyard's center is a modern rendition of a very traditional feature in many Middle Eastern homes.
From a large gathering space for family or a tranquil sanctuary, these seven designs feature some very different takes on the ancient idea of a courtyard.
February 08, 2016
stdaluminum 021
Since windows and doors are such important aspects of your home, it’s always a good idea to take the time to evaluate how they fit within the lifestyle you want. Whether you’re in the middle of constructing a new home, or you’re considering replacing your current setup, there are multiple elements to consider when it comes time to make the final decisions. Milgard® Windows & Doors understands how vital these choices are to the well-being of your home and has developed ways to turn the process into a journey that can be just as enjoyable as it is fulfilling. Not sure where to start? We gathered some helpful insights from their team of experts to help us better understand what goes into the process of bringing your vision to life.
February 08, 2016
modern fire resistant green boulder loewen windows south facade triple planed low-e glass
These houses in Broncos Country prove modern design is alive in the Rocky Mountains.
February 08, 2016
french evolution paris daniel rozensztroch living area eames la chaise butterfly chair moroccan berber rug
A tastemaker brings his distinct vision to an industrial loft with a centuries-old pedigree.
February 07, 2016
senses touch products
The haptic impact can’t be underplayed. The tactility of a material—its temperature, its texture­—can make the difference between pleasure and discontent.
February 07, 2016
senses taste products
Ambience is a key ingredient to any meal—materials, textures, and mood all impart a certain flavor.
February 07, 2016
senses smell products
The nose knows: Though fleeting and immaterial, scent is the lifeblood of Proustian memories, both evoking and imprinting visceral associations.
February 06, 2016
design icon josef frank villa beer vienna
Josef Frank: Against Design, which runs through April 2016 at Vienna’s Austrian Museum of Applied Arts/Contemporary Art, is a comprehensive study of the prolific architect, designer, and author.
February 06, 2016
senses sound products
From an alarm to a symphony, audio frequencies hold the power to elicit an emotional call-and-response.
February 06, 2016
Italian Apline home with double-height walls on one facade.
Every week, we highlight one amazing Dwell home that went viral on Pinterest. Follow Dwell's Pinterest account for more daily design inspiration.
February 05, 2016
A built-in sofa with Design Tex upholstery marks the boundary between the two-level addition and the bungalow. Leading up to the master bedroom, a perforated metal staircase, lit from above, casts a Sigmar Polke–like shadow grid on the concrete floor.
From a minimalist Walter Gropius design to a curving sculptural stair, these six stairways run the gamut.
February 05, 2016
distant structure lakeside prefab norway facade stones green roof
Dwell has traveled all over the world, from Tasmania to Indonesia, to report on modern houses.
February 05, 2016
modern lycabettus penthouse apartment master bedroom atrium
Get ready for a weekend of rest with these sleepy, little cocoons.
February 05, 2016
lamp show 99 cent plus gallery 0
At Brooklyn's 99¢ Plus gallery, 30 artists and designers re-imagine the lamp in an illuminating light show.
February 04, 2016
Hidden storage stairwell with raw brass hardware
Having ample space to stow items is a daily struggle—peep these modern homes for some ideas on maximizing your square footage.
February 04, 2016
modern fairhaven beach house blackbutt eucalyptus living room Patricia Urquiola sofa
Whether it's along a coast in Australia or the French Alps, wood provides a natural touch in these interiors.
February 04, 2016
Glass and steel sculpture in Printemps store of Paris.
In the Paris' venerable Printemps department store, two Toronto-based firms were tasked with enlivening a new atrium and creating a unique experience for visitors. YabuPushelberg, partnering with UUfie, designed this stunning steel "sail" embedded with vibrant dichroic glass.
February 04, 2016
Monochromatic Master Bedroom in Copenhagen Townhouse
Whether it's to maximize limited light or create a soothing interior, these five projects go white in a big way.
February 04, 2016
EQ3 Assembly quilt by Kenneth LaVallee
The new Assembly collection from EQ3 celebrates up-and-coming figures in Canadian design. Discover this newly appointed class, which debuted at Toronto's Interior Design Show, here.
February 03, 2016
The Greenhouses of Half Moon Bay
Each week, we tap into Dwell's Instagram community to bring you the most viral design and architecture shots of the week.
February 03, 2016
Deck of Australian addition to Edwardian home.
A 1,500-square-foot home in Melbourne welcomes a modern black and white kitchen, dining, and living area.
February 03, 2016
open plan concrete home in japan
Embracing the organic, imperfect material, these raw concrete surfaces are a step up from exposed brick.
February 03, 2016
Renovated DC Row House loft space with Arne Jacobsen Egg Chair.
The classic designer's signature and comfortable forms continue to be popular in homes today.
February 03, 2016
Zinc-roofed cabin France.
An architect builds an energy-efficient home near one of France’s most popular pilgrimage sites.
February 03, 2016
1973 Palm Springs home
Made for casual design enthusiasts and Palm Springs connoisseurs alike, Unseen Midcentury Desert Modern offers a peek into 51 buildings—some not open to the public—in that Southern California mecca of modernism. Begun in 2008 by photographer Dan Chavkin, the book is set for release this February 9th and will be available on Amazon and at multiple venues of Modernism Week in Palm Springs, February 11 - 21. Here we preview some of its images.
February 03, 2016
Millennial concept home with an outdoor living area
A concept home aims to reflect the requests of the Millennial market.
February 03, 2016
The two twelve-by-sixteen-foot bedrooms, directly above a comparable pair on the first floor, feature a glass transom that follows the pitch of the roof. “The stair and railings were very simple,” Depardon observes. “We added a bit of design, with panels
Skylights needn't be simple overhead daylighting; sometimes they can truly define a room.
February 03, 2016