Safe Agua Chile Project at the United Nations

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November 1, 2011

Outcomes from the award winning Safe Agua Chile project are being featured in the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum’s “Design with the Other 90%: Cities” Exhibition at the United Nations (October 15, 2011-January 9, 2012.)  Guest bloggers Penny Herscovitch (Environmental Design faculty), Dan Gottlieb (Environmental Design faculty),  Liliana Becerra (Product Design faculty) and Elizabeth Bayne (Graduate Broadcast Cinema alumna)  attended the exhibition opening in NYC.  In this post, the team gives some insight into the experience of being recognized by Design with the Other 90% and having their work showcased at the United Nations.

Environmental Design Faculty Dan Gottlieb at the United Nations

Environmental Design faculty Penny Herscovitch and Dan Gottlieb  make up 2/3 of the Safe Agua Research Methodology Cards design team. The dedicated faculty members had this to say about being a part of the Design with the Other 90% exhibit.   “The Cooper-Hewitt’s 2007 Design for the Other 90% exhibit served as a huge inspiration when we were preparing to teach the 2009 Safe Agua Chile class. What an incredible honor for Safe Agua to be showcased in the current Design with the Other 90%: Cities exhibit.  With nearly half a million projected visitors, we hope that the exhibit at the United Nations will inspire current and future change makers from around the world.”

Liliana Becerra (Product Design faculty) is the other 1/3 of the Safe Agua Research Methodology Cards design team.  She too was inspired by the 2007 Cooper-Hewitt exhibit.  Liliana hopes that the Safe Agua exhibit will inspire other designers to take action and focus on making a change with their work. “When I was working for Nokia in 2007, I visited the first edition of Design for the Other 90%. The exhibition made me wonder how could I be part of projects that impact our world and effect real change. A couple years later, I got involved with Designmatters at Art Center and I now am very proud not only to be working and leading these type of projects with an amazing team of people but also to think that our exhibit at the Cooper Hewitt will now inspire other designers around the world to jump on board.”

Dan Gottlieb, Penny Herscovitch,  Mariana Amatullo, Stella Hernandez and Liliana Becerra at the Design with the Other 90% Exhibition

Recent Graduate Broadcast Cinema alumna Elizabeth Bayne, whose Safe Agua Documentary will be featured in a corresponding Smithsonian Channel mini-series, was ecstatic to be a part of this great exhibit and to see all the amazing work being presented by other talented designers. “I was very excited to learn about innovations from all over the world being made to address global health and poverty. And it was a special honor to have a project with which I was involved placed alongside that work and know, even as students, that it was on the same professional level.”

Safe Agua is a social innovation collaboration between Designmatters at Art Center College of Design and Chilean NGO Un Techo Para mi Pais (Un Techo). This unique combination of design education, design research, and social entrepreneurship aims to help families in Chile’s campamentos (slums) overcome water poverty.

The Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum’s “Design with the Other 90%: Cities” Exhibition will be on display at the United Nations until January 9, 2012.  Click here to learn more  about Design with the Other 90%.