Posts Tagged ‘Safe Agua Chile’

Art Center Tops IDSA College Wins with Six Awards

Friday, July 1st, 2011

Cadence by Seth Astle

Today the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) unveiled the winners of the 2011 International Design Excellence Awards (IDEA) program—a celebration of design excellence in products, sustainability, interaction design, packaging, strategy, research and concepts.

We’re excited and honored to report that Art Center topped this year’s list of college wins with six student and professional awards. In total, Art Center has won 59 IDEAs since 1991—more than any other school, and in the top 10 of any other institution, corporate or educational.

This year’s winners:

Product Design

Grad ID

Design Strategy & Management (professional category)

  • BRONZE: Mariana Amatullo, Elisa Ruffino, David Mocarski, Karen Hofmann, Liliana Becerra, Penny Herscovitch, Dan Gottlieb, Safe Agua project

Art Center also had many finalists:

  • German Aguirre, Centaur High Performance Quad Rugby Wheelchair
  • KC Cho and Jackie Black, SAFE AGUA: ReLava Kitchen Workstation
  • Jessica Yeh & Narbeh Dereghishian, SAFE AGUA: Ducha Halo Portable Shower
  • Stéphane Angoulvant, Dexter Work Sled
  • Joel Greenspan, Oplei Transitional Running Shoe
  • Jin Kim, Flameingo Sustainable Fire Extinguisher
  • Joey Wang, Lien Sustainable Funerary Ritual for Taiwan
  • Mark Huang, Orbital modular sport performance eyewear for POC
  • Mike Wang, STACK Traffic Control Products
  • Matthew Lim, Sennheiser Eco-Vinyl Turntable
  • Pengtao Yu, U-Haul Emergency Response Conversion Kit for the American Red Cross

Congratulations to all the students, faculty, and staff for your hard work and for a job well done! Co.Design has a nice gallery of the winners on their site.

Inspired Purpose

Wednesday, June 15th, 2011

The following post written by Mariana Amatullo is reprinted from the Designmatters blog.

On my plane ride back from D.C. to LA last week, I kept marveling about yet another first for us at Art Center: the opportunity to have a public showcase for our collaboration with the Innovation Center of Un Techo Para Mi Pais at the atrium lobby of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

L to R: Matias Rojas, Mariana Amatullo, Penny Herscovitch, Dan Gottlieb, KC Cho, Julian Urgarte, Carolina Carrsco Barrera, Ana Maria Silva

This was the third venue for the exhibition.  Originally conceived for the Shanghai Cumulus Conference and World Expo “Better Cities, Better Life,” back in September 2010, this expanded version of the show came on the heels of a very successful display at the Royal College of Art for the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design Include 2011, their biannual conference about universal design, which this year was presided by Bill Moggridge and took a close look at design for social innovation.

Through the leadership of the Environmental Design Department, the Safe Agua Exhibition demonstrates the power of design and storytelling at their best.  Thanks to the vision of Department Chair David Mocarski and that of Penny Herscovitch and Dan Gottlieb (who are also the Environmental Design Lead Faculty of the Safe Agua project, the exhibition recreates the simple wooden framework of the media aguas, the transitional homes that the volunteers of Un Techo build throughout the 19 countries of Latin America where they are seeking to eradicate slums and make quality of life more dignified for the 200 million plus individuals throughout the continent who live at the base of the pyramid.

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IDB hosts Safe Agua Exhibit in Washington, D.C.

Thursday, June 9th, 2011


The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) is hosting an exhibit on innovative and affordable designs to provide safe water, Internet solutions and entrepreneurship opportunities for people living in poverty.

The Design Innovation with the Base of the Pyramid exhibit will showcase solutions developed by the Innovation Center of Un Techo Para Mi Pais, a non-governmental organization based in Santiago, Chile. Six different safe water solutions developed by Designmatters students in partnership with the Innovation Center of Un Techo Para Mi Pais will be on display. These safe water solutions were developed by connecting design students with families living in poverty with limited access to running water and other basic services. In 2010, these solutions were used to help hundreds of Chileans affected by the earthquake.

Read more: IDB hosts exhibit on innovative design solutions to improve the lives of the poor

Ducha Halo Up for Award: Vote Today!

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

The National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance (NCIIA)’s Open Minds video competition is now underway—and Art Center students Narbeh Dereghishian and Jessica Yeh need your vote!

The annual Open Minds contest features cutting-edge innovation by students from around the country.

This year, 15 teams have been selected to participate in the high-profile event, which involves an exhibition and video competition held in partnership with Inventors Digest.

Product Design student Dereghishian and Environmental Design student Yeh have been nominated for their Ducha Halo, a low-cost, portable shower designed in 2009’s Designmatters Safe Agua studio.

Check out their video, and vote for it, at the Inventors Digest site. Voting lasts through March 14. Winners will be announced March 26 at the Open Minds event, held at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C.

Good luck, Narbeh and Jessica!

Design Activists: Narbeh Dereghishian and Jessica Yeh

Friday, November 12th, 2010

The following is a posting from Daily BR!NK. Interview by Lauren Rigney, photographs courtesy of Narbeh and Jessica

Narbeh Dereghishian and Jessica Yeh: Design Activists

There are two things in this world that Art Center Product Design student Narbeh Dereghishian and Environmental Design student Jessica Yeh believe everyone should have access to: A warm shower and wonderful design

By Lauren Rigney for Daily BR!NK

The next time you pick up a product and admire it for its sheer beauty, simplicity or functionality, you can thank people like Jessica Yeh and Narbeh Dereghishian. Students at the Art Center College of Design in California, Jessica and Narbeh love nothing more than improving life through innovation and design.

When they were both offered the opportunity last fall to spend two weeks at a campamento (or slum) in Chile, researching how to design basic tools that would improve the Chileans’ lives, neither realized at that point just how big of a difference they were about to make.

The result of their research and efforts is the Ducha Halo, Spanish for “Halo Shower”: a low-cost, portable tool that makes taking a warm shower as easy as 1, 2, 3 – you heat the container on a grill, pump the handle to pressurize the water, and step on pedal to let the comfort of a nice, warm shower wash over you.

What made you want to go to school for design?
Jessica Yeh: I think it was just something that I’ve wanted to do for a long time. I made up my mind in middle school that I just had to be a designer (laughs).
Narbeh Dereghishian: I knew I wanted to solve problems.

Why did you want to be part of the class that undertook the assignment of visiting, and designing for, a Chilean slum? That’s not typical homework…
JY: Design is wonderful, and it can be really innovative and have the potential to help people who need simple things. Just to help make their lives a little bit easier, a little bit better and more enjoyable.
ND: Exactly. As for me, I’ve done other projects related to social design, and the one prior to this one was one in Guatemala where I did water filtration for a rural community there. This was right up that alley.

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Art Center Media Minute

Thursday, November 11th, 2010

Some recent media coverage featuring Art Center, our faculty, students and alumni:

Safe Agua Wins Top Spark Award

Monday, November 8th, 2010

The following post was written by Product Design alumnus Will Tang, Product Design student KC Cho and Environmental Design student Stephanie Stalker for the Designmatters blog.

Last October, our class of 12 students was still busily refining concepts, building mockups, and preparing for midterm presentations for Safe Agua, a sponsored project focused on addressing water issues in the campamentos, or slums, of Santiago, Chile.

Since then, six projects were developed including a shower solution, dishwashing station and community laundromat being field-tested by Un Techo para Chile.

A year later, on October 17, KC Cho made the long drive from Los Angeles to San Francisco to submit Safe Agua for the 2010 Spark Awards, an International Design Competition.

With guidance from Mariana Amatullo, Karen Hofmann, and David Mocarski, Liliana and KC worked diligently to complete the application process. Along with the oversized poster, the Safe Agua documentary by Elizabeth Bayne, Harry Gota by the Ming Tai’s motion team and the Safe Agua book by Lisa Wagner’s graphic team were delivered the next morning to the site of the Spark Awards at the Autodesk office on One Market Street.

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Safe Agua Update

Wednesday, October 13th, 2010

More Designmatters news: Change Observer has a nice write-up on Designmatters’ Safe Agua project, which we’ve written about here before, and which was the focus of an Art Center exhibition at the Cumulus conference held in conjunction with the Shanghai World Expo last month.

A woman in the campamento tests the Relava kitchen workstation prototype.

From the article: “For the teachers and students in the Environmental and Product Design departments at Art Center College of Design who signed up for the Safe Agua project in Chile, the first engagement with the problem was very close to home. An ‘empathy exercise’ at Art Center’s Pasadena, California, campus, before a two-week field trip to Chile, forced the 15-member team to experience what it’s like to limit their daily water intake to one 5-gallon bucket, and laid the groundwork for understanding the challenges faced by the slum families.”

Three of the projects from this studio—the Ducha Halo portable shower, ReLava kitchen workstation and Mila community laundry facility—have already entered the implementation and testing stages.

Read more: Project: Safe Agua

Safe Agua Project Celebrated in Shanghai

Friday, September 10th, 2010

More great Designmatters news: The Safe Agua project, which we’ve told you about before, is the focus of an Art Center exhibition at the Cumulus conference, Young Creators for Better City & Better Life,  held in conjunction with the Shanghai World Expo in China. Throughout the conference, panel presentations about the collaboration between Un Techo para mi País (UTPMP) and Art Center will bring together the lead creative team of Safe Agua to discuss how design education can be a catalyst for societal change. (Mariana Amatullo, vice president and director of Designmatters, is tweeting from the event.)

The transdisciplinary Safe Agua team brought together 12 Art Center students from five majors who spent two weeks in Chile last fall to research and visit communities in desperate need of clean water. The team designed six innovative water solutions at a range of scales: a low-cost portable shower, a water purification kit for a 5-gallon bucket, a gravity-fed system to simulate running water, a multipurpose kitchen workstation, a community laundry and gathering space and a campaign and publication for people living in campamentos (“slums”) to share their own inventions. The families from Campamento San José, in preparation for real world implementation, tested prototypes from the class.

“Our ultimate goal is to create one Latin America, without abject poverty, where every family has a decent house and access to opportunities to improve their quality of life,” said Julián Ugarte, director of UTPMP’s Innovation Center. “Our work with Designmatters at Art Center has proven that that such a future is possible.”

Learn more about the program in this Icsid article and at the Safe Agua Chile blog, and be sure to check out the student-made video about the project below:

It’s All Good: Designmatters Brings Innovative Guests to Campus

Friday, February 12th, 2010

A major component to the mission of Art Center’s Designmatters Department, which invites students from all disciplines to address humanitarian and social challenges, is to lead “an ongoing exploration of design as a positive force in society.”

Part of this exploration takes place in the field—Designmatters has organized dozens of projects, including the recent Safe Agua Chile, in which students developed systems for storing, transporting and conserving water in impoverished Chilean neighborhoods—but another part happens right here on campus.

Special events give students the chance to meet provocative and inspirational individuals who are using design to make a real difference.

Two recent Designmatters-sponsored events at Hillside Campus did just that.

On January 28, Designmatters and Acting Chief Academic Officer Nik Hafermaas presented “Leading Change for Social Impact: Perspectives from Prominent Innovators,” a forum moderated by Adlai Wertman, professor at the USC Marshall School of Business.

The panelists for the evening event in the Ahmanson Auditorium included Mariana Amatullo, vice president and director of Designmatters, who highlighted several recent departmental projects; Rhys Newman, head of strategic projects at Nokia Design, who explained how he uses his company’s extraordinary global reach to push environmental initiatives; and Jonathan Greenblatt, founder of Ethos Water and the open-source All for Good volunteering website, who discussed the business models behind his ventures and the power of the Web to effect social change.

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