12 Nov 2020
Written by: What if Lab

Open Call 'What if Lab: Clean up your shit!'

For the latest What if Lab, together with KaacKai, we are looking for designers on a mission to make an impact worldwide when it comes to the treatment of wastewater. So are you the kind of person that feels confused looking at the big amount of clean water we use to flush our toilet that isn't being recycled? We challenge you to consider this: what if ... wastewater can be cleaned and reused by everyone?

In sub-Saharan Africa alone, more than 300 million people live in water scarce areas. Population growth, climate change and rapid urban and industrial developments will put further pressure on the existing water infrastucture and resources. To combat the increasing water scarcity all over the world, fully circular wastewater could be one of the most important solutions.

This is where KaacKai comes in (formerly known as Waterkube). KaacKai is a start-up company based in South Africa, that has developed a professional-quality, full circular wastewater treatment kit, in order to recycle wastewater. In this way, water that would normally be flushed away, can be re-used for non-potable uses such as showering, irrigation and industrial use. The technology behind KaacKai's system has already been thoroughly tested and patented; over 5.000 of their units have been sold worldwide and are cleaning sewage water right now.

So what's the design question here? KaacKai's products have been developed from an engineering point of view, connecting and combining the different products and technologies that are ready to use. The next step for KaacKai is to reimagine the design of its products, transforming the technical appearance into a design that makes KaacKai an appealing product for use in public and private spaces. 

KaacKai is looking for a designer that will join them in the mission and adventure of developing a product that will change our attitude towards the safe an efficient reuse of water from wastewater on a global level. The goal is to collaborate with the KaacKai team on a first design proposition that illustrates how the units can look and function. This What if Lab will specifically focus on a design for the Venus to be implemented in Victoria Yards, an urban complex in Johannesburg, South Africa, which has been transformed into an artisan sanctuary and urban garden complex. To deliver a succesful result you should be able to bring together technique, people and design. The result should be a modular installation that is easy and logical to use and maintain, plug and play in use, aestetically pleasing, designed for the circular economy and can be implemented worldwide. 

Is this a challenge that matches your design studio and would you like to learn more? Read the entire briefing and subscribe to the challenge using your What if Lab account. If you don't already have a What if Lab account, create one here first.

This is the first time you can subscribe through our new What if Lab website, which is still in its bèta testing phase. So if you come across errors in our system, please let us know via info@whatiflab.nl.

Dutch Design Foundation
Eindhoven municipality
stimuleringsfonds creatieve industrie
Province of Noord-Brabant
Ministerie van Volksgezondheid, Welzijn en Sport
Vereniging van Nederlandse Gemeenten