Designmatters Safe Agua Peru wins Tech Award

by October 18th, 2012

Safe Agua Peru projects Balde a Balde, left, and GiraDora.

The Art Center team behind Safe Agua Peru has won a Tech Award for creating cost-effective ways to clean and conserve water in Peru.

Each year, Silicon Valley’s Tech Museum of Innovation honors 12 “techmanitarians,” humanitarian efforts with a tech angle, in six categories, including health, education and sustainable energy.

Selected from more than 1,000 international entrees, the Safe Agua Peru Designmatters project is being honored with the Katherine M. Swanson Young Innovator Award, along with Angaza Design, which allows off-the-grid Africans to pre-pay for clean solar power.

Two cash prizes of $75,000 and $25,000 will be awarded in each category. Winners will be announced Nov. 15 at the 12th annual Tech Awards gala at the Santa Clara Convention Center.

The Designmatters products being recognized are GiraDora, a human-powered washer and spin dryer, and Balde a Balde, a portable faucet that delivers running water from any bucket. Both products were designed with families living in Cerro Verde, a 30,000-person slum surrounding Lima, Peru.

“This year’s laureates are providing innovative solutions to some of humanity’s most urgent problems,” said Mike Splinter, chairman and CEO of Applied Materials. “In many ways, The Tech Awards embody the spirit of Silicon Valley and the belief that technology can improve people’s lives and make the world a better place.”

Presented by Applied Materials, The Tech Awards is the signature program of The Tech Museum of Innovation in association with the Center for Science, Technology and Society at Santa Clara University.

More than 250 laureates have been recognized since The Tech Awards launched in 2001.

The Safe Agua Peru lead faculty are Penny Herscovitch, Dan Gottlieb (Environmental Design Department), Liliana Becerra (Product Design Department) and Julka Almquist (Humanities and Design Sciences Department). Lead advisors on the project for Art Center are David Mocarski, chair of Environmental Design, Karen Hofmann, chair of Product Design and Mariana Amatullo, vice president, Designmatters. They worked closely with Adlai Wertman, founder, Society and Business Lab, Marshall School of Business, University of Southern California.

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