Transdisciplinary strategies and systems to raise awareness and help solve the global water crisis.
This transdisciplinary studio, involving environmental design, product design, and graphic design students, is in answer to the 2008-2009 international Aspen Design Challenge, an outgrowth of the Aspen Design Summit, which asks students to develop actionable design solutions that will raise awareness of the emerging global water crisis.
“The class posed a very challenging, yet very important task. The students were able to take many different approaches on how this epidemic could be addressed, and I believe every team’s final outcome was very successful. Not only is it fun to instruct incredibly talented students, but when you can also focus these skills on the cause for a greater good, it couldn’t be more fulfilling.”
– Grant Delgatty, instructor
The goal of this studio was to find new ways to address the emerging global water crisis in order to communicate its urgency and inspire action amongst a variety of demographics here and in the developing world.
The research for this project consisted of a very broad study of both local and global water issues. Students were asked to identify a specific demographic or area of interest within this broad study, and then to create a personal awareness campaign for the subject they chose. Students also looked at programs already in place that addressed the global water crisis and furthermore identified the elements that worked and did not work regarding these efforts so that they might apply such lessons to their own work.
Contributing to the students’ research was a guest talk by Tara Lohan, editor of Water Consciousness: How We All Have to Change to Protect Our Most Critical Resource, and Senior Editor at AlterNet, heading the Environment and Water sections. Having written extensively on the topic of water, Tara provided valuable insight on the issues related to the crisis and shared examples of some existing conservation systems.
Proposed a solution to address the global water crisis by creating an awareness campaign in a major retailer. For this proposal, Team Tap chose Home Depot to facilitate the opportunity to inform people of where we waste water in the house and how much money could be made by making simple changes. Download full PDF project
Proposed addressing the water through a system the re-uses grey water from the bathroom sink replacing a given amount of freshwater every time the toilet is flushed. This proposed system would be low cost, accessible, easy to install, and would require no change of habits. Download full PDF Project
Proposed building a social networking utility that partners with local water companies all over the world. By utilizing “smart meter” technology, individuals would be able to track their water usage online and then designate where in the world they would like the water/money they saved to be allocated. Download full PDF Project
Proposed a city based program in which communities and individuals receive incentives for conserving water. The project revolves around the idea of making individuals aware and excited about making change in the world by involving entire communities into the incentive process.
Proposed a system to get kids involved in water preservation, creating a fun interactive system while also saving lives. Team Hydr8 designedH2GO, a mobile water transportation system, a cart propelled by a modified see-saw, utilizing the playful interaction of children. Download full PDF Project