The first one is the story of a man that lived the American dream until it bored him to death. And he decided to do something good. And he invented a shelter that is something between a tent and a house, fairly inexpensive, pretty, clean, and above all - resistent. Sanford Ponder, who used to work as a manager in Microsoft, created The Pod, which looks like some sci-fi object, and is, well, this:
The beginning of something beautiful?
You need to see the video to get the whole story (a little cheesy, but interesting), and there is a follow-up - this story about the first humanitarian attempt, in Pakistan, and an update.
While the above project was created by someone who was only an amateur designer, professional designers and architects can also have sudden awakenings. Here is the story of Cameron Sinclair, a young architect who discovered he can be just as good an architect while being a better man. Today, he creates a range of projects, from shelters for the homeless to a mobile HIV clinic, etc. etc.
The interview with him is here, here is his Architecture for Humanity. And for more artistic ways of changing the world, see www.worldchanging.com.