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Design and architecture: Top ten stories of 2013

Copyright: Mads Nissen / Panos

From coding in Arabic and a font for dyslexic people to a 3D printer that uses sun and sand, it has been a great year for design stories. Here we revisit some of the most intriguing articles, including new designs for smartphones and e-books for blind people, and free online guides to build your own research equipment or homes for the poor.

Which SciDev.Net articles do you find the most useful? Let us know by commenting below or tweeting us @scidevnet using #bestof2013

Indian designer creates smartphone for the blind
A project to develop an affordable Braille smartphone for the visually impaired could have its first model on the market within a year.

Open-source opens up architecture for the poor ride
An online repository of sustainable designs suitable for developing countries is going from strength to strength.

Special font 'helps people with dyslexia read'
A specially designed font for people with dyslexia can improve reading accuracy, but raising awareness is still key.

Arabic computer code aims to inspire new programmers
New computer language based on Arabic characters is designed to encourage more Arab speakers to enter the software writing sector.

Solar-powered 3D printer uses sand to make glass
A 3D printer that makes use of abundant solar energy and desert sand could be a cost-effective way of producing glass in the future.

Study reveals secrets to successful product design
Phone and solar-lamp designs show how product success in emerging markets comes from targeting small enterprises.

Chinese scientists develop cheap e-notebook for the blind
A portable e-notebook that blind people can use to write and translate Braille and make voice memos could go on sale in China later this year.

Online guides help poor labs build their own equipment
Many scientists around the world lack laboratory equipment. An initiative is now enabling them to build their own.

Researchers make bricks from waste, desert sand
Researchers in Algeria and Malaysia have developed new bricks made of sand and waste materials, making them cheap and eco-friendly.

Using innovation to assist Tanzania's craft firms
Tanzanian government funding aims to help weavers, wood carvers and furniture makers profit from science, says George Achia.

Read more design stories here.
What were your favourite design stories this year? 

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