In September I went to India again, to work on the Social Innovation project that started earlier this year. With a multidisciplinary, multicultural team from India, Germany and the US we are developing a sustainable solution to provide safe and clean drinking water to people in underserved neighbourhoods in India’s biggest cities. With over 140 million people not having access to clean water, water supply is one of the most pressing societal issues in India right now.
Our approach is to build a grid of autonomous water dispensers that give people access to clean water at an affordable price and 24/7. Working much like bank ATMs, these dispensers will be refilled with safe water each day and will dispense water to the customer at the swipe of a chipcard.
The design process of these dispensers is a joint effort of engineers and designers from India and Germany to create something that is functional and cheap and can be manufactured with local material.
The design work is much more down-to-earth than anything that happened during my studies, but at the same time it has the potential to have a social impact, help people and actually make a change. To work in an interdisciplinary and higly motivated team is exciting and inspires more than what I ever experienced before. It feels highly creative and productive at the same time and is something that, in my opinion, should be the basis for any design challenge.
Work will continue in the coming months and I’ll hopefully soon be able to show the final product. Meanwhile, here are some impressions from the last trip to Delhi: