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Vhembe Water Filter

The following body of text was submitted to The INDEX: | AIGA Aspen Design Challenge,  Designing Water's Future.  I was selected as one of 7 finalists. Click here for more details about this submission.

This project aimed to develop the Potpaz water filter into an improved filter design optimally suited to South African rural conditions so as to provide potable water rather than contaminated water to households. [This was part of a larger collaborative research project between the University of Johannesburg and the University of Venda, and was funded by the Water Research Comission through the University of Venda]

The improved filter design may prove to be suitable for use in other rural areas through South Africa and abroad. Communities that do not have access to in-house treated water often end up with a contaminated water supply, as the water to be consumed is usually stored in containers and sourced from communal taps.

This project utilised Industrial Design by concerning it with the requirements of the user, as well as knowledge regarding product design, development and manufacturing.

Sixty-five households used the existing Potpaz home water treatment device for more than two months and were approached to provide feedback regarding its use. From the feedback, it became evident that there were aspects of the Potpaz design that needed modification towards an improved water filter more suited for its intended use in rural households.

An Action Research-influenced methodology and user-centred design approach informed the collection of original data and feedback on areas of improvement. This, together with visits to local shops and community potters, provided sufficient background to understand the needs and preferences of the intended rural users regarding the use of the device. This informed the design process and increased the chances of developing a readily accepted, more suitable product which was designed around the needs and preferences of the intended users and the domestic environment in which they live.

This suitable product will be more usable than existing filter types and incorporates existing tried-and-tested water treatment technology. If this filter design were to be researched and developed further, and finally-manufactured on a mass production, it will provide rural households with a well designed, easy-to-use product, able to provide potable drinking water for their entire family.

This is not a conceptual idea of a product in the future, but a product in the final stages of its design, utilising current technology, able to be mass-manufactured and distributed to many different rural people groups, in turn targeting the problem of contaminated drinking water on a local or global scale.

For the detailed pdf please follow this link ----->       *click*

Components are stackable
Components are stackable

Filter components
Filter components

Assembled filter
Assembled filter

Operation of the filter
Operation of the filter

One of the observed problems

Retrieving water
Conducting field research





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