Indian student wins design award

New Delhi: Inspired by a natural leaf, a Pune-based student`s design for a self-generating water source powered by the sun and capable of producing 20 litres of drinking water every day has bagged an international design award. "Leaf" an 18-feet tall solar powered water condensation unit designed by Anurag Sarda has won first place out of entries submitted by top design schools across the world for the "Time to Care Sustainable Design Award".

The competition was organised by Victorinox Swiss Army, a Swiss company popular for their Army knives. "For me availability of water is a key problem. I wanted to create a sustainable design and chose to do the `Leaf` after I saw dewdrops on the seat of my bike and thought about converting into a product, " says Sarda.

Similar to a natural leaf, water is artificially generated through condensation. The water gets purified through an attached sand-filtration and later collected into an earthen pot. Sarda`s project is currently in the conceptual stage and according to him can be be practically implemented in humid regions in Asia, North America, South America, Africa and Australia.

"I am working on a prototype model in the next two years with sponsorship by Victorinox," says Sarda , a student of MIT Institute of Design (MITID) who is currently pursuing an internship in Germany. Sarda`s project pipped the waterless toilet and Safety net which bagged second and third places respectively.
Traditional toilets use roughly 30 per cent of the total water used in a household that is up to 13 litres of water per flush. A young team of Mexican designers has found a way to eliminate the use of water, and turn waste into pathogen-free organic compost through their waterless toilet.

Also, throwing unwanted "by-catch" fish overboard threatens the health of the world`s oceans and the livelihood of fishermen. The SafetyNet`s inspired design incorporates "escape rings" into a trawling net system, giving juvenile and endangered fish a much-needed second chance.

Other projects that were shortlisted include the sea chair project, Ejewelry, a sustainable stove and an easy Pod washer. "Faced with depleting resources and severe climate changes, sustainability in design is the need of the hour…Through this project we are not only spreading the important message of sustainability, but also encouraging its practice by making these award-winning projects a reality," says Alexander Bennouna, CEO, Victorinox who was recently in Delhi to launch a new range of watches.