Safe Agua Chile
Exhibition: Network | November 4, 2011 by designmatters
Safe Agua Chile is a collaboration between Designmatters at Art Center College of Design and Latin American NGO, Un Techo para mi País. This unique combination of design education, design research, and social entrepreneurship addresses the quotidian challenges of safe water access for Chile’s poorest families living in slum developments (or campamentos) on the outskirts of Santiago.
The collaboration with Art Center’s team led by Penny Herscovitch, Dan Gottlieb, (Environmental Design faculty) and Liliana Becerra, (Product Design faculty) was coordinated with the Innovation Center, Un Techo Para Mi País led by the Chilean Industrial Designer Julian Ugarte, Director, and his colleagues: Askan Straume and Andres Iriondo, also with key support of Rafael Achondo, Director of Development for UTPM.
The Safe Agua project began with a field research trip from Los Angeles to Santiago, Chile. Students connected with impoverished families living in transitional housing with no running water. Driven by field research, the team designed innovative water solutions, tested by the community, and realized by the Innovation Center, Un Techo Para Mi País.
Safe Agua is a compelling example of how organizations such as Un Techo are leading the way throughout Latin America by partnering with government, academia, and industry, to address systemic issues of poverty with social innovation tools that can add value to bottom-of-the pyramid markets and be widely scalable for communities in the region.