In answer to the ever-intensifying global water crisis, industrial designer Talia Radford has created the AquaIris, an elegant, portable water purifier for developing countries with tropical climates that is simple to use and requires no electricity! How does it work? Contaminated water enters the AquaIris, passes over a removable/re-usable filter, then travels under a layer of ‘converter crystals’ where germicidal UVC rays purify the water molecules as they pass by.

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At Inhabitat we believe that great design can change the world for the better and Talia Radford’s AquaIris is a brilliant example of inspired design in the service of an important issue – 1 in 6 people do not have access to safe, clean drinking water. The AquaIris is portable and easy to use; the directions are even printed right on the lanyard. The form, which echos the hexagon — ‘the geometry that water molecules form travelling in pairs within the body’ — is simple, elegant and beautiful enough to be discovered at Cooper-Hewitt.

There is some debate about the science behind the AquaIris. Chatter on Radford’s blog has questioned the ‘converter crystals’ and the proposed effectiveness of UVC purification through/in plastics and/or glass, particularly on cloudy or overcast days.

Regardless, we love the AquaIris. Once the kinks are worked-out we hope to find it in production — and saving lives — soon. We are not alone in our admiration. Like the Contortionist folding bike we brought you earlier, the AquaIris has been shortlisted for a James Dyson Award, a well-deserved honor. Good luck!

+ Talia Radford

Via Dvice