Design Project 2 | Mini Proposals

Journal Entry For
Project 2 - Mini Proposal

Mini Proposal 1- Circular water System for day-to-day use

Modern water systems, both in the lodging sector and public facility sector are inefficient and incredibly wasteful, when in fact, it’s operations could simply be viewed as the various use of water with a byproduct that could thereafter be useful in itself. Despite the cost increases, projections show that in the long term, this resource reuse would be economically beneficial as well as environmentally beneficial. Besides, underdeveloped communities would pay the extra cost if it was self-reliant in the long term.Technologies for the filtration of water have developed successfully. The general objective/purpose would be to increase sustainability and self-reliance, by developing a water system around these facilities, homes, or buildings that operates in a more circular system, reusing water and putting it through it’s own water cycle on the infrastructural scale. Our models predict that high amounts of water could be reused in a complex process that filters water to specific services. Essentially, instead of the water from the pool being wasted when it’s cleaned, it can be refiltered; the evaporated water from the sauna or steam bath can be extracted and reused into the pool or showers instead of wasted. Research in water extraction from pee has shown that it has a 98% extraction rate (98% of water is extracted) which is very positive, therefore waste from toilets can be reused although it brings rise to customer disinclination. Our team will focus on a smart system that connects all parts of the home/building/facility using water to create a self-reliant recirculation system that increases sustainability and efficiency.

Mini Proposal 2 - Smart Energy, a.k.a. Transformation of Mechanical energy into Electrical energy through “daily” activities (Delia)

With this idea, we aim for substituting regular electrical energy with electrical energy generated from “daily-exercise” activities. For example, electricity can be produced from mechanical work such as friction (opening and closing doors), air compression (sitting on and standing from a chair). Generating these types of activities does not require much effort and is done in a habitual manner by many people throughout their daily life. After the collection of such force, we can transform this mechanical work into an electrical energy with a help of a generator. One of the largest benefits of an electricity generated from this way is the overall decrease in electricity bill charges, as well as a decrease in the use and reliance on Earth’s fossil fuels. The collection mechanisms would be implemented in universities, colleges, cinemas, restaurants, and other areas that have doors and seats impacting students, teachers, tourists, and office workers. More modernized and sustainable communities such as Stanford in Palo Alto, could adopt such systems and be the birthplace of its growth.

Mini Proposal 3 - Kinetic Energy Harvesting from Bikes (Derived from 2)

Stanford is one of the university communities that are highly active and that has most of it’s alumni riding bikes to class and everyday activities. The energy crisis of the past year has increased costs and more sustainable methods of harvesting are starting to dominate. Individuals could harvest their own energy throughout their daily use. By implementing a sort of battery feature that harnesses the kinetic energy instead of letting it go to waste, the community could both get from place to place for free and efficiently but also harness the energy their mechanical output produces. Stanford itself could get extra energy to power its facilities or dorms, thus reducing costs or energy waste.

Mini Proposal 4 - Tourism in Egypt (Khaled)

Your General Objective / Purpose: Develop a transportation network around touristic sites in Egypt that are fully electric and produce no emissions. Those include ancient temples, tombs, and modern religious worshiping structures (Mosques, Churches, and Synagogs). That way, we are able to reduce the effects of environmental pollution in the zone of such sites, resulting in two outcomes. The first is that it would allow us to preserve the delicate colors and paints used in the various decorations of these sites, thus requiring less maintenance and mitigating any potential significant damage to these priceless historical depictions. Secondly, by offering such emission-free transportation, we aim to develop an environmental responsibility among visitors, encouraging them to embrace eco-friendly practices during their travel. The idea would involve the various tourism industry stakeholders, i.e. Ministry of Tourism & Antiquities and ancient site tour guides.

Mini Proposal 5 - Sustainable NGO operation

NGOs are a group of conscious individuals that get together to tackle a relevant systemic problem. However, many NGOs are operating with non-sustainable action plans by both not tackling the root cause of the problem and having internal processes that aren’t sustainable by itself. My personal experience is a great example of this. Back in Brazil, I’m a part of a volunteer diving group that removes trash from the bottom of the ocean. Although, we have done significant good to our local oceanic ecosystem, we don’t have enough actions to prevent the trash from getting there in the first place. And this is a common denominator with many NGOs. Additionally, research has showed that “duplication of efforts, contradictory policies at the community level, a lack of experience-based learning, and the inability of NGOs to address the structural causes of underdevelopment at the local level” [1] are present issues with many NGO initiatives. We propose the development of a website that connects experienced and relevant NGO founders/decision makers pointed as influencers to orient less experienced peers through mentorship projects. The site will promote self reflection about what practices are in fact sustainable and what aren’t and manage a database of NGOs filtered by operation location and domain to motivate partnerships.

[1] Abiddin, N.Z.; Ibrahim, I.; Abdul Aziz, S.A. Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and Their Part towards Sustainable Community Development. Sustainability 2022, 14, 4386.


Based on class discussion and brainstorming after advice in class and the connection of each mini proposal

Mini Proposal 5 - Self-Reliant Home for Syrian Refugees