Massive urbanization, technology, and climate change are reshaping our planet every day. Orbia Lighthouse develops scalable solutions for systemic global challenges—from improving water access, to building sustainable infrastructure, to rethinking agriculture systems.

We are a joint venture between IDEO and Orbia, leveraging IDEO’s depth in human-centered design and Orbia’s expertise in engineering, materials, and manufacturing to tackle today’s—and tomorrow’s—toughest challenges.


of the world’s population will live in urban areas in 2050


liters of water are lost every day by global water systems


of mobile data will be consumed daily in 2022


more food will be needed to feed the world’s population in 2050


Precision agriculture—from irrigation to automation—is advancing the way we farm as individuals and as an industry. New tools and technologies promise increased yields, but access to healthy food is unevenly distributed.

How might we feed more people with fewer resources? How might we rethink consumption, energy use, labor, and our behaviors across our food systems?


Rapidly growing cities grapple with how to support the needs of exploding populations while older cities cope with crumbling water infrastructure. Meanwhile, cities around the world are planning for extreme weather events.

How might we design water infrastructure that is smarter and more efficient? What if our pipes could tell us when they need to be replaced… and repair themselves?


The morphology and social rhythms of cities are changing. Globalization and automation shift the nature of work; at home, evolving family structures are not yet reflected in policies or the built environment.

How might cities build communities that are equitable and inclusive? What if our built environment was flexible—and could be reconfigured according to changing needs, rather than torn down and replaced?


Just as digital tools have transformed the ways we live, they are transforming the ways cities operate. Neighborhood platforms offer a sense of connectivity. Transportation options are flourishing, enabled by real-time geospatial data.

How might cities respond to the needs and behaviors of residents and workers—to create thriving social infrastructure? How might data be used to increase citizen engagement?


Companies and consumers are reducing their use of virgin materials, aspiring to create zero waste, and moving from single-use consumption to a circular economy in which materials are continuously repurposed. New materials promise intelligent, responsive properties.

How might human-centered design match real needs with advances in material science? How might we align and coordinate efforts across the material supply chain?


If you’re interested in learning more about Lighthouse, get in touch!