Safe Agua Peru: Water System Innovations Breaking the Cycle of Poverty

Art Center College of Design, 2010 - $50,000

Clean water is essential to life; lack of access to it results in poor health and economic hardship. Over two academic terms in 2009, the Designmatters Department at Art Center College of Design sponsored studios in which students traveled to Chilean slums and worked directly with residents to envision, design, and test solutions addressing the lack of safe, running water. For residents of San José, Chile, the team, calling itself Safe Agua Chile, generated six solutions involving the use, storage, and transportation of water.

This grant supports an extension of the project to a Peruvian slum. The Safe Agua Peru team will look for opportunities for water system innovations, capitalizing on the field research and outcomes of the Chilean project. Designmatters students will partner with the Innovation Center of the Chilean organization Un Techo Para Mi Pais, which has offices in eighteen countries throughout Latin America. The Peru project will include a new class of degree students working on this project as part of an upper-term transdisciplinary studio.