Speaking of innovation, more than a couple of cutting-edge green architecture projects popped up on our radar this week. Not all are for the faint of heart, however. There's Pierre-Yves Chays' breathtaking glass cube that lets you "float" over the French Alps, and the Life Box is an inflatable emergency shelter full of survival supplies that can be dropped out of planes for victims of natural disasters. Once your heartbeat has settled down again, you'll definitely want to check out the Whole Foods Market in Brooklyn that features a solar- and wind-powered parking lot, and SuperPier, a new shopping center in NYC that will be built entirely out of shipping containers (just don't call it a mall!).
The end of the year is always a good time to look back on advances and accomplishments, especially in the world of technology. This year, we saw lots of action in the medical world, with bioengineering projects that made our jaws drop. Renowned French surgeon Alain Carpentier successfully transplanted what he calls the "world's first fully artificial, self-regulating heart" into a 75-year-old man. BioPen proved that it's possible to combine 3D printing with stem cell research to regrow missing or diseased bones. Meanwhile, a project called iLab is helping Haitian doctors 3D print much-needed medical supplies on demand. In other feel-good news, a Detroit non-profit called The Empowerment Plan is training homeless women to sew innovative winter coats that expand into sleeping bags, and Japan used LEDs to power-up its greenest Christmas ever.
All in all, it's been a year chock-full of sustainable design and mind-boggling green technology. Help us decide which story was tops by voting for the most innovative new technology, the top news story, the top green kids design story and the top wearable technology concept of 2013!