Momofuku Ando’s Instant Noodles Revolutionized At-Home Cooking

As part of It’s Nice That‘s Design Legacies series, Lucy Bourton takes readers on a deep dive into instant ramen’s origin story. First conjured up by Momofuku Ando during the food shortages following the Second World War in Japan, instant noodles drastically altered cooking and dining at home—an especially remarkable feat when one considers Momofuku had no prior culinary experience. When he lost his job …

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Plastic waste bricks that are stronger than concrete, harnessing wave energy, Vans' digital broadcast station and more

Affordable Plastic Waste Bricks That Are Stronger Than Concrete Materials engineer Nzambi Matee—the founder of Nairobi-based Gjenge Makers—not only invented a brick made from plastic waste that’s stronger than concrete, but she also set up the factory after losing patience waiting for government funding. The bricks are made from a blend of discarded high-density polyethylene (traditionally used for products like shampoo bottles), low-density polyethylene (plastic …

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From an NBA first to dance commissions and life-changing inventions

Carlo Ratti Associati’s Eco-Friendly Scribit Pens Completely compostable and filled with edible ink, design agency Carlo Ratti Associati’s eco-friendly Scribit pens aim to curb the damage done to the environment by the 1.6 billion plastic pens thrown out each year. Three models with refillable barrels exist—one from responsibly farmed wood; another from recycled, anodized aluminum; and one from biodegradable PHB plastic (which, unlike the other …