In the wake of the 2011 Sendai earthquake and tsunami, Japanese designer nosigner has launched OLIVE, a wiki-style website that anyone can edit, which provides tips and tutorials on how disaster-stricken areas can use design to help improve their everyday life. After all, one of the most important things in times like these is trying to feel and live normally.

What’s impressive about the site is that, despite being launched just a few hours ago, it already has an English interface with many tutorials being accompanied by an English translation.

The website, at its core, is about how design can be used to improvise with materials and objects around us that otherwise might be considered garbage. It’s a refreshing take on design, which often falls victim to criticisms that it is all about consumption and selling products. Here are a few of the user-submitted ideas that range from the slightly mundane to the life-altering  significant:

How to make a dish from a plastic bottle

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How to make rubber bands from bicycle tires

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How to make oral rehydration solution (ORS)*


*Recommended by UNICEF & WHO. Do not over-consume as the formula increases absorption rates by 25 times. Adding drops of lemon further increases effectiveness.