2010 - Medellin, CO
Designing a rain water harvesting system for low-income communities in Medellín. Aiming to reduce earth-slide risks caused by poor rainwater management, as well as decrease illegal water usage from informal settlements.
My role: Design Research, Industrial Design
In low-income neighborhoods in Medellín Colombia people build their homes with unconventional materials like plastic bags, cardboard and old bricks; rainwater is not properly managed resulting earth-slides during rain seasons. The challenge was to develop a rainwater harvesting system for these communities, which would allow better channeling of rain water while proidning an extra resource for house chores.
The result is LluviaViva, a rain water harvesting system that can be built with simple, available materials by the communities with the instructions of municipality programs. The system collects, filters and stores water to be used in daily household activities.
By conducting in-context interviews, observations and creative sessions with community members, governmental institutions, schools and eco promoting companies, It was possible to establish the social and technical implications for the product as well as how it could be implemented through development plans from the municipality.
The product developed – LluviaViva – is a system that people in the community can build on their own using their skills and available materials. It includes a sieve, a filter a tank and a pump to harvest, clean and distribute rainwater for house chores.
The product can be introduced during weekend workshops conducted by the public organisations, which already take place in the areas. These workshops are about subjects like education, safety and resource management.
Because people in this communities have construction skills a DIY manual was designed to instruct them to build the system and maintain it.
Drop me a line! I am always happy to chat over coffee - and cake.