Over the next few weeks we will be highlighting award-winning projects and ideas from this year's Core77 Design Awards 2012! For full details on the project, jury commenting and more information about the awards program, go to Core77DesignAwards.com
- GiraDora: Safe Agua
- Designers: Alex Cabunoc & Ji A You
- Location: Designmatters at ACCD
- Category: Social Impact
- Award: Student Notable
GiraDora, a human-powered washer and spin dryer, increases the efficiency and improves the experience of hand-washing clothes for women living without access to running water. The user sits on the drum-like appliance and pumps the pedal with her foot, to agitate, clean, rinse, then spin-dry clothes. For under $40, GiraDora's comfortable and ergonomic operation more than doubles productivity, increases health, instills dignity, and affords opportunities to begin breaking the poverty cycle.
How did you learn that you had been recognized by the jury?
I actually learned that the Core 77 results would be broadcast live via webcast. However the social impact webcast was at 4 a.m. pacific time, so at about 3:50 a.m. the morning of, I logged on and with bleary eyes watched as it was announced that we received a student notable. I believe I then texted my instructor and my partner and proceded to fall back asleep.
What's the latest news or development with your project?
Our most recent prototype has been undergoing field-testing in Santiago, Chile and we are getting some very positive feedback. In addition, we just recently learned that we had been awarded an NCIIA E Team grant which gives us nearly $20,000 dollars worth of funding for continued research and development. With this money, we have planned at least two more research trips coming up in the next year as well as two more iterations of prototypes. By summer of 2013, we hope to be in a place where we can begin a pilot rollout of GiraDora coupled with our innovative business plan which allows an individual to potentially earn additional income from up to 3 different revenue streams through the use, rental and sales of GiraDora units.
What is one quick anecdote about your project?
GiraDora is more than just a device that cleans clothes. Every part of it has been designed with the hopes of improving the lives of the women who would use it, from getting the women off the ground into a more comfortable seated position, to reducing the amount of water usage, to providing them with an opportunity to earn supplemental income and begin to break the cycle of poverty. We know that GiraDora cannot solve the burden of water poverty, but perhaps one day it can give someone the needed advantage to solve it for themselves.
What was an "a-ha" moment from this project?
One of the biggest "a-ha" moments for this project came from our process of co-creation, working directly with the women of Cerro Verde, the slum community where we conducted our initial field research. When we sent early prototypes back to the community, we originally sent both a washing prototype and a spin-drying prototype. However, it wasn't too long before the women saw that combining the function of a washing device and a spin-drying device into one unit created the most value for the user. They took our early prototype and with some ad-hoc alterations in the field, created a rudimentary washer and spin-dryer. Although it was crude, we too immediately saw the value and potential of such a device and changed our design direction to this new goal of combining the two devices into one.