Art Center Students Win Southern California World Water Forum College Grant

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June 3, 2008

I had the pleasure of representing Designmatters at the Southern California World Water Forum College Grant Program Award Ceremony hosted by the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California on May 30, 2008.

Art Center Product Design students Gabe la ‘O (Project Manager) and Armie Pasa, along with Caltech student Amit Gandhi and Landivar University (Guatemala) student Mariella Paredes, were the recipients of a $9,800 grant toward their project: a solar water purifier which would provide access to clean water in rural Guatemala. Upon successful testing in Guatemala, their prototype hopes to be a solution to the lack of clean water in other developing countries as well. This project was initially conceived as part of Professor Ken Pickar’s Product Design for the Developing World course at Caltech, which Art Center students are invited to take in the Fall term.

Serving as the World Water Forum’s Honorary Chair, Congresswoman Grace F. Napolitano, Chair of the Water and Power Subcommittee of the House Committee on Natural Resources, gave opening remarks on water and the issues associated with it. She stated, “Water is everybody’s business. We need to help small communities help themselves.” This is exactly what Gabe and Armie address in their excellent proposal.

Among the competing Southern California colleges and universities, we are proud to be the only design school to receive a grant. Congratulations to the team for this great accomplishment!