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Tata Swach - A low cost water

Lead Designers
Prize(s)Silver in Sustainable Living/environmental Preservation / Rural Sustainable Design
Entry Description

About SWACH Water Filter

Approximately 4900 deaths are caused by Water borne diseases / day in many parts of the world. This is much more than AIDS.

SWACH is an unique and innovative water purifier, which gives clean and safe drinking water without using electricity or running water, not often available in rural areas. This filter has been designed for the bottom of the pyramid - a segment which does NOT know the difference between water and drinking water.

The core technology of the product - that is the filter - has been developed by TCS and Tata Chemicals. This very efficient filter is made from a rice husk ash – a low-cost natural ingredient. The filter is impregnated with nano-silver particles. This filter has the capability to kill bacteria and disease-causing organisms. It is replaceable. The filter has ample capacity and can purify up to 3000 litres of water.

How Design Directions Pvt. Ltd. worked on the SWACH project and what we did.

We worked closely with our clients - first TCS and then Tata Chemicals Ltd. With our design process of defining and ranking the real problems and creating a solution independent design brief our method of managing the innovative design process, we are able to deliver a product that was distinctive in look, easy to use and therefore intuitive; - and a product which helped make our client’s technology more effective.

Our design -

• Looks up-market and good and the design conveys hygiene and purity.
• Easy to clean, maintain and use
• Simple in construction
• Easy to manufacture, stackable to reduce transport space and cost
• Easy to use
• Incorporated an indicator that shows the life of the filter. It forces the
user to change the bulb (Cartridge after 3000 lts of water filtered) as it
locks the filtering mechanism - a unique feature.
• Users have a pride of ownership
• Has helped to reduce deaths caused by water borne diseases
• One time ownership cost to user is @ USD 20.00 only
• Recurring cost per 6 months is USD @ 5.00 only for 3000 lts of potable
and bacteria free water.
• Our design set a new standard, a category and also raised the bar for
design for the BOP segment


A graduate of India’s premier design institute, National Institute of Design (NID), Mr. Gokhale and his firm Design Directions Pvt Ltd founded by him and his better half - Falguni - also a graduate of NID Ahmedabad - combines design, technology, aesthetics and relevant materials to create a major impact on industrial, medical, electronic and consumer products. Design Directions focus is on brand strategy, industrial design, visual communication and user interface design.

Design Directions is a recipient of several local and international awards. The latest being for one of the products designed by his company - Tata Swach - a low cost water filter. This received three international awards - 1) Design of the Decade Gold award by the Industrial Designers Society of America. 2) Gold award - Asian Innovation award by Wall Street Journal - USA and 3 ) iF - Gold award in Germany.
Besides this Design Directions has received several BW- NID awards for its UI and product design.

Mr. Gokhale has been a jury member on several design award committees internationally. He is a member of the India Design Council, and the CII committee on Design and also the CII manufacturing committee.

Through his work, Mr. Gokhale has been able to raise a great level of awareness towards design in hard-core engineering sectors and healthcare and prove to them by sheer market success, the importance and benefits of industrial design. He has till date, successfully designed and launched over 650 products in the Indian and international markets for a host of clients, ranging from the small scale sector to the heavy industry sector.

He has been invited to speak at many National & International Design conferences. He was one of the speakers invited by BusinessWeek magazine, HP Labs and IDSA - USA to talk on "Design for the Other Billion" at Palo Alto in 2005. He is an international member of IDSA, founder member of ADI (Association of Designers of India and the India Design Council under the Ministry of Commerce and Industries - Govt of India.

Some of Design Directions products and communication projects are used in over 40 countries. He holds many patents and design registrations, most of which have been licensed.

Awards and Prize

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