Tag Archives: GiraDora

How Alex Cabunoc set out to save the world, one laundry load at a time

Visitors to Art Center’s homepage may have found themselves wondering if that Brady Bunch-like grid of student selfies splayed out on Art Center’s homepage was some kind of post-modern meditation on ’70′s pop culture. And they’d be wrong. The real explanation —  a refreshed batch of student profiles — is a lot like Art Center itself: A practical solution to a real world need whose outcome is a lot more interesting than anyone might have expected going into the project.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be rolling out a series of deeper dives into the creative lives of those profile subjects, with highlights from the body of work they’ve produced at Art Center. We’re kicking off the series with this look at Product Designer Alex Cabunoc’s truly impressive array of innovative social impact designs aimed at improving the lives of inhabitants rural communities in the developing world. For the project featured in the above video, Cabunoc teamed up with fellow student Ji A You to create the GiraDora foot-powered washing machine for a Designmatters challenge to alleviate the water shortage in Lima, Peru. The product he produced has vast potential to improve the health and quality of life of women in water-poor communities throughout the developing world. In the below Q&A, Cabunoc provides some personal context to his Art Center journey.

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Designmatters Safe Agua Peru wins Tech Award

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.

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Designmatters Projects Clean Up at the Spark Awards

Three Designmatters projects from Safe Agua Peru are among the winners for The Spark: Concept Fall Winter Awards: GiraDora: Safe Agua won the highest ranking SPARK! Award; Balde a Balde: Safe Agua won a Gold Award; and Vitamigos: Safe Agua won a Bronze Award.

GiraDora, Student team: Alex Cabunoc / Ji A You

GiraDora, by students Alex Cabunoc and Ji A You, is a human-powered washer and spin dryer that increases efficiency and improves the experience of hand-washing clothes. For under $40, GiraDora more than doubles productivity, increases health of women and children, and affords the opportunity to begin breaking the poverty cycle. The user sits on top of the drum-like appliance and pumps a pedal with her foot, which agitates, cleans, rinses, then spins-dries clothes. While providing a more comfortable, ergonomic, and efficient way to clean clothes, GiraDora also affords opportunities to generate income.

Balde a Balde, by students Kimberly Chow and Carlos Vides provides running water from any bucket, maximizing cleanliness while optimizing water use.  Nearly half of the world lives without access to running water. Balde a Balde (Spanish for “Bucket to Bucket”) is a portable faucet that provides running water from any container, bringing the health benefits and experience of using a tap to families living without running water. The user attaches Balde a Balde to any container with a universal clip, then begins a continuous flow of water with just a few squeezes of the siphon pump. Users can easily control the exact amount of water they need, with a simple click of the on/off spout or a twist of the valve to regulate flow. Balde a Balde harnesses gravity to bring the dignity of running water to the 3 billion people living without taps.

Balde a Balde, Student team: Kimberly Chow / Carlos Vides

Vitamigos, by students Thomas Kong and Cora Neil, combines water purification and nutrition in a tasty beverage. Kids want it, mom’s love it! For the 1 in 6 people living without access to potable water, purification methods are costly, time-consuming, and often inconsistent. Kids often end up drinking sugary-sodas in place of clean water. Vitamigos combines water purification and nutrition in a tasty beverage, creating a new, fun, playful, and interactive experience for moms and kids living without access to potable water. It is a more convenient and economical alternative to boiling water and healthier than the sugary drinks purchased from the local bodegas. The ultimate goal of Vitamigos is to help reduce the illness and medical costs associated with waterborne disease.

More about all the Safe Agua Peru projects can be found on the Designmatters website here.

Congratulations also to alumnus Dan Ashcraft for his Bronze Award winning project, Aria.

According to its website, “Spark is first and foremost a community of designers and creative people, bound together by the idea that Design can make significant, positive changes in the world and help make it better. The way we promote this Good Design is through the annual organization of international design competitions, exhibitions, blogs and workshops.”