Five design breakthroughs in 2014

Here are the five standout solutions from our Design Frontiers series that are edging the industry forward in different ways.

A next-generation tree harvester

Turkish student Ilteris Ilbasan designed the Gerridae ground sensitive harvester, a more ecologically responsible and efficient vehicle for forestry operations. Read more about this sustainable innovation, which has a distinct and measurable impact on the world's forests here.

A new natural composite material

Nabasco, a new sustainable material consisting of natural fibres, debuted in Ineke Hans's designs for road signs and resting stops in the Dutch countryside. The material, whose name is short for "nature-based composites", uses flax, jute, coconut and hemp bound with bio-based or polyester resin. Read more about this nifty natural material here.

Ekasi water cap

Peter Krige prototyped a pressure-tight closure that can be fitted onto easily available parts to create a shower for unplumbed homes. Read more about this low-cost, needs-based intervention that breaks new ground by working collaboratively with its users in underserved communities here.

Bamboo engineering

A group of researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) are testing new ways to use bamboo in building materials in a manner akin to wood composites such as plywood, orientated strand board (OBS) and glue-laminated timbers. Read more here.

Smart textiles

In a very near future imagined by textile developer and fashion designer Borre Akkersdijk, our clothing will become a digitally connected platform, like smart phones and tablets – only wearable. Read more about the 3D textiles here.

Watch the Talk with Ineke Hans