Many innovative designs only serve the needs of those who are rich and who already dominate a large share of resources. Few designs consider the needs of the deprived. The design team at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University conducted an applied research project in Nepal to design a new filter container (Filtainer) to serve the needs of the deprived. The project was conducted in collaboration with the research team at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), which had invented a filtration method for removing arsenic from water. The new container maintains the effective filtration of MIT’s original invention, while improving the degree of userfitness and minimizing the cost of production. This paper introduces the background, objectives, and research methods of the project. By presenting the research findings and illustrating the design, the paper emphasizes the importance of conducting in-depth research into users’ needs so that the design of products meets these needs and takes into account users’ daily practices. The paper presents the detailed design of the filter and discusses how it achieves a high degree of fool-proofing to provide clean and safe water for the deprived.
|Keywords:||Arsenic, ClogFree, Deprived, Filtainer, Social Innovation, Userfitness, Water Filter|
Professor, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong