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A look at great design stories from 2013

Since the end of the year is always a great time to reflect as well as look ahead, we would like to highlight some examples of great design breakthroughs that occurred in 2013.

A recent article on Fast Company lists some of the more creative designs.

For example, students at Auburn University spent this year perfecting the design of a $20,000 affordable house that they have been building for low-income individuals in the area for years. The home is 550 square feet, and priced so that a person living on Social Security income could afford to pay the monthly mortgage payments. Recent designs even include passive heating systems.

For those who need an even more mobile piece of shelter, an Australian architecture collective known as Sibling created sneakers that have a built-in tent. The tent itself is split into two halves, which can be folded tightly in netting surrounding each shoe. The result is footwear that does not impede walking, as well as a portable shelter than can be set up just about anywhere.

Some designers are looking much farther in the future, specifically at the promise of 3D printing. In fact, this year a University of Southern California professor worked with a team of students to develop a 3D printing system that has successfully printed entire home sections out of construction materials like wood chips and epoxy.

At Sozo Design, we're always looking for clients to bring us new ideas that we can turn into useful products. It is clear that in 2014, there will be no shortage of these ideas.

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