What is Big Think?  

We are Big Idea Hunters…

We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

Big Think Features:

12,000+ Expert Videos


Browse videos featuring experts across a wide range of disciplines, from personal health to business leadership to neuroscience.

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers


Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge


Big Think’s Edge learning platform for career mentorship and professional development provides engaging and actionable courses delivered by the people who are shaping our future.

Find out more

FoldFlats: Pop-Up Emergency Shelter

June 24, 2010, 2:29 PM

2010 is barely halfway through and it's already been the most disastrous year in modern history. Suddenly, disaster relief becomes not just a playground of humanitarian agency manifestos but a real, palpable point of life-or-death difference. There is hardly a greater test of design than in disaster relief, where it has to marry the utility of addressing the life-or-death need at stake with the comforting simplicity of use and operation that offers disaster victims the much-needed sense of groundedness and control. The FoldFlats tent from German designer Adrian Lippman does just that.

Made of weather-resistant light composite panels, the tent comes flat-packed and offers emergency shelter that's easy to ship and quick to assemble.

Images courtesy of designboom

Revealed at the DMI International Design Festival in Berlin earlier this month, Fold Flat Sheet offers a humanitarian spin on the recent pop-up store trend in retail.

Though the particular tent exhibited was in a neutral color, Lippman's original concept involves brightly colored panels that serve both an emotional function, harnessing the mood-boosting effects of color at a time in victims' lives filled with painful grayness, and a utilitarian one, making the shelters easy to spot from a distance.

Maria Popova is the editor of Brain Pickings, a curated inventory of miscellaneous interestingness. She writes for Wired UK, GOOD Magazine and Huffington Post, and spends a shameful amount of time on Twitter.


FoldFlats: Pop-Up Emergency...

Newsletter: Share: