Orbia Lighthouse develops scalable solutions for systemic global challenges— from improving water access, to building sustainable infrastructure, to rethinking agriculture systems.

It’s no secret that massive urbanization, technology, and climate change are reshaping our planet every day. Orbia Lighthouse builds and launches new ventures that aim to solve global systems challenges with human-centered solutions. 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.


Our work on macro systems starts with people. Human-centered design is based on the fundamental belief that understanding people’s spoken and unspoken needs yields incredible inspiration for new products, services, and ventures. We start every project with a deep, nuanced understanding of user needs, while also taking a birds-eye view of the systems that connect those users. We bring a prototyping mindset and sense of tangibility to macro-scale challenges. This means starting with sketches and moving through renderings and modeling to bring even abstract concepts to life.

At its core, human-centered design brings together what is desirable from a human point of view with what is technologically feasible and economically viable — with the goal of launching impactful products and ventures grounded in real human needs.


IDEO is a global design and innovation company. From designing the first manufacturable mouse for Apple to advancing the practice of human-centered design, IDEO has long been at the forefront of using human-centered design to create change. IDEO designs have transformed the lives of users, the capabilities of teams, the direction of organizations — and soon, we hope to transform the shape of global infrastructure.

Orbia is a purpose-led global company that started as a commodities producer and is evolving into a solutions provider to address the global issues of rapid urbanization, water and food scarcity, and a growing population. Orbia products have applications in buildings and infrastructure, data communications, materials and polymers, and precision agriculture.

Together, we are Orbia Lighthouse, located in IDEO San Francisco’s offices. Our teams are made up of IDEO designers and subject matter experts from Orbia’s business units. Projects range from short sprints to multi-year workstreams.

Orbia Lighthouse is a key part of Orbia’s innovation ecosystem, and its commitment to become future-fit and build new capabilities.

Orbia Ventures is Orbia's vehicle for collaborating with promising startups and bring innovation from the outside in. Orbia Ventures invests in and partners with startups that aspire to advance life around the world, providing them the opportunity to reach global markets while learning from top-notch experts in their field.