The Water Issue of Good Magazine


Good Magazine’s water issue from July has a lot of informative articles & case studies — it’s all about ‘How to make the most of the water we have.’

A few relevant articles:

Clean, Clear Water (5 case studies of water purification products)

Don’t Love That Dirty Water (3 innovative solutions on a broad scale – with comprehensive implementation strategies)

And a striking fact (that ties into the first ‘Day without Taps’ water diary):

Last year, UNICEF announced that humans need about five gallons of clean water a day to survive. In America, we can easily use 400 gallons per household, per day—two to three times as much water as other developed nations.

- Penny

Smart Connections: Watering Can


The ‘watering can’ by Nicolas le Moigne connects a smart, designed component with the universal threaded top of any PET bottle. This strategy has a lot of potential — taking advantage of existing containers to hold water, and designing a new component to achieve functionality, interaction and even some fun.

- Penny


A pedal-powered vehicle that transports, filters, and stores water, by Team Aquaduct. This design won Google/Specialized’s “Innovate or Die” contest, which asked people to create pedal-powered solutions to ‘cool the planet and better lives.’ The video provides a really clear synopsis of the challenges, user needs, and scope of the problem.

- Dan and Penny

During our research trips to the campamentos of Santiago, one of the things that most struck me was the industry of its residents. A common assumption is that those living in poverty, do so due to a lack of motivation, a lack of skill or some combination of the two. But what I saw in the campamentos was a resilience and a resourcefulness that went beyond what one might expect. Many of the residents may not have been employed, but everyone worked. For those whom formal employment was not an option, due to circumstance, health or physical conditions, entrepreneurship was key to survival.

bicycle cartsalvaged metal

The majority of adults in the campamentos left for work everyday. And if they weren’t going to a formal job in town or a construction job in a new development, they were salvaging parts or precious metals from abandoned lots, doing laundry for their neighbors, selling small crafts, collecting recyclables and used clothing, or buying fruit and vegetables to resale. They create ways to support their families, take pride in their work, and are reluctant to take handouts. For me, it was an important lesson to remember.

salvaged woodferia

In our society where one is defined by their job, and in a current economic climate where many are unemployed, it is an interesting reminder that in difficult circumstances flexibility is key. If no one gives me a job after I graduate, I won’t despair, because like the families in the campamentos, I can create my own job and live with dignity as I pay off my student loans.


¡Mi amigo Carlos!

As I reflect on our trip to Chile and the visits with the amazing families we had the pleasure of interacting with, one thing continues to surprise me- The overwhelming connection I feel with those families and how welcome I felt when entering their home.

My limited knowledge of the Spanish language paired with the incredibly personal topics of discussion had an surprisingly SMALL impact on my ability to interact and connect with the beautiful people living in the Campamentos. Truthfully, I am not sure exactly what I expected my experience in the Campamentos to be- but the friendships I acquired and the impact those friends had/have on my life is something that will undoubtably stay with me forever.


One person I met on the journey surprised me with his courage, curiosity and amazing sense of humor. To him and I am thankful for the lessons he taught me in such a short time!

Carlos, warmed up and was accepting of three complete strangers that came into his home, permitted us to ask his family numerous personal questions and was understanding of the language barrier, yet continued to interact with us as if none of those factors even phased him! He is one of the smartest, bravest and friendliest people I have met- in the Campamentos, in Chile, and on the Globe! Carlos is an 11 year old autistic child.

I’d like to share a story, not about an interaction I had with 11 year old Carlos, but one that I witnessed between him and my team member KC.

Carlos & Group

Sitting at the dining room table in Carlos’s Grandmother’s Media agua- with the T.V. running in the background, KC- a ZERO Spanish speaker, and Carlos- a FLUENT Spanish speaker, sat down with a pad of paper and a dozen colored pencils. Both of them had the instructions to draw their homes. KC, drew an apartment complex with several people and his bike sitting outside. Carlos drew a soccer field!

KC & Carlos

The Field represented the location of where his previous house was located; however, in a matter of seconds the drawing was no longer his home… it was the WORLD CUP soccer Field, and the game between the USA and CHILE was about to begin!

KC was playing for the USA, and Carlos was the team captain for Chile! Carlos gave KC lessons on how to “kick” the soccer ball on the page- which consisted of lining up a pencil on a pre-drawn player and “shooting” the pencil in the direction of the goal. The game lasted about 10 minutes ultimately ending with the overwhelming 4-0 win for CHILE! All of the exchanges between the two were with gestures, facial expressions and a bunch of chatter in languages that neither one understood! -I think the only English exchange between the two was a comment about the death of Michael Jackson (which I found amusing!)

KC & Carlos

Witnessing this interaction between two people who not only don’t speak each-others spoken language, but come from different cultures, countries, ages, social-status and family structures, was incredibly touching and illustrated that the differences among all of us sitting in that room were really quite SMALL and despite those challenges we were still able to communicate- as long as we had an open-heart and kept an open-mind.

Thank you, Carlos for letting us into your life! You are an inspiration and I look forward to watching you follow your dreams!


Universidad Diego Portales

Art Center Crew - 122

Props to the professors and students in the I.D. program at universidad diego portales for sharing your research and projects with us. The lecture was very informative and gave me great insights into some of the challenges that lie ahead of us. Also, taking a smoke break in the hallway was thoroughly enjoyable. thank you!

Poor Little Fish by Yan LU

Hey guys, I found here is clever way of implementing water conservation by using an emotional strategy, take a look:

–Core 77, London Design Festival 09 Preview: Designersblock| 22 Sep 2009

Poor Little Fish by Yan LU

Poor Little Fish by Yan LU

“Sustainable and energy preservation become a global issue, however consumption is incalculable, saving is often neglected through daily consumption. Rather than forcing people to consume less, thus depressing the using experience, Yan LU offers with his Poor Little Fish basin an emotional way to persuade consumers to think about saving water, by making consumption tangible. There is a traditional shaped fish bowl in the Poor Little Fish basin. While using, the level of water in the bowl gradually falls; it will go back to the same level once the water stops. Hence the consumer needs to consider the fish while using. Due to separated pipelines, the water that comes from the tap is pure and clean while the one in the bowl is not actually changing; no more water is wasted in this process.”


Mobile Phones Are Not Just Phones

I came across an article that discusses the use of mobile phones as an education supplement in developing communities. While it refers specifically to India, its principles are applicable globally. In addition to using phones to aid education, agriculture, and healthcare, mobile devices can potentially be an information platform and portal for aiding business, resource use, and countless other possiblities.


Viewed simply; phones are capable of:

1. Voice – These are the most basic phones, are still prevalent though being rapidly replaced. Such phones with voice only technology can be used to learn languages, literature, public speaking, writing, storytelling, and history amongst a whole range of topics. We’ve known that voice based learning works for millennia now.

2. SMS – Widely used in India, literally billions of short text messages are sent over the phone networks. These messages can be written quickly and offer enormous learning opportunities. SMS can be used to provide just in time information of almost any type, like reminders. (e.g., someone undergoing a formal mentoring process) SMS can be used for informational quizzes. There are also innovative games based around SMS that have strong learning potential.

3. Graphic Displays – Almost every mobile phone has a graphic display, even if it just shows signal and battery strength. Most phones today have far more graphic power and are able to display words, pictures and animation. Such screens also allow for meaningful amounts of text to be displayed, supporting rapid serial presentation of context-appropriate information. You can use this type of displays for almost any sort of learning. Eventually these displays will render content that is today rendered on personal computers.

4. Downloadable programs – With mobile phones that have memories, and can accept and install downloaded programs an entire new learning space is opened up on the phone. Almost any sort of learning content and interaction technology can be delivered to the phone using this method.

5. Mobile Internet Browsers – Internet browsers are now built into an increasing number of phones, especially those that take advantage of 3G or enhanced data networks such as GPRS. Having a browser on the phone opens up all the learning resources available on the web, including Google, LMS applications, typical eLearning courseware and other tools/applications.

Posted by Will Tang

Personal Impression

This whole experience has really impacted me in many ways. Prior to the Chile trip I was confident in type of work and studio I wanted to be involved in once I graduated. I thought I had it all figured out.

But, after working with Un Techo Para Chile, it really opened up my eyes to a whole new world and opportunities in design. Working with the families and seeing how much of an impact we made in those two weeks was extremely rewarding. No other experience or project has made me feel the way this trip did. It was amazing.


Thanks to Askan, Andres, Julian and Rafael. You guys were great host. Thanks for the good times and chance to work together. See you October!

Ramon Coronado

Kite Flying for Chilean Independence Day

We celebrated Chilean Independence day traditions of flying kites (volantines) and having a BBQ (asada)! Thanks Nubia for hosting the festivities!
Check out more pix HERE.
- Dan and Penny