Interview with Penghao Shan (Water Catcher) Design Lab finalist

Electrolux Design Lab 2009 finalist Penghao Shan is the Chinese designer behind Water Catcher, the flying rain catcher and water purifier. He is a student at Zhejiang Sci-tech University in China.

Watch Water Catcher video

Flying in the rain

Penghao Shan has created a product that addresses water shortage. His solution is “Water Catcher”, a flying rain catcher and water purifier. This automated device dispatches small flying balls in the air to catch raindrops. After the raindrops are collected, the balls return to a homing tray that purifies the water for drinking. Once purified, the balls take the drinking water directly to a person to be drunk. The homing tray also reads fingerprints to determine what additives should be added to the water to ensure the drinker optimizes their health.

What was the inspiration for your concept?
I was inspired by nature and the way that insects collect and store water.

How does your concept fit into this year’s competition theme “Designs for the next 90 years”?Over the next 90 years, I think human beings will care more about nature and the environment. Water Catcher is designed to meet these kinds of desires and demands. We should live peacefully with nature. “Living a green life” is not only a slogan—it impacts all aspects of our daily life such as drinking water.

What are the main consumer benefits of your concept?
First, the way it collects the water is environmentally friendly and cool. Second, the water you drink will be very nutritious because Water Catcher can change the water to suit your body’s nutritional needs, which are identified through a hand scanner.

Describe the consumer research behind your concept.
Every design comes from our daily life. I observed my grandfather and grandmother’s life in their home. I recorded every detail during one day. Then I found out what they need and what I should do.

What kind of materials would you use to build your concept?
I think it’s a kind of new material because it can change its transparency. The material will be recyclable and environmentally friendly.

Who is your favorite designer?
My favorite designer is Japanese industrial designer Naoto Fukasawa.

What are your career goals?
To be a good product designer and to improve people’s lives.

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