Voronoi Bookshelf, Rocking Chair, and Bug Hotel: A combination of design, engineering and technology

I’m always fascinated by innovative design that is useful, beautiful, and blends science/tech with art in a very unique way.

Recently, I came across a series of projects inspired by the Voronoi algorithm.

This fascinating project started by Stanford Neurobiologist and artist, Alan Rorie, is now on Kickstarter and looks like a winner to me. Building upon the science algorithm, the founder tries beautifully blend science and art to design unique bookcases for customers. Check it out below or here:


I figured the algorithm could be used to design more than just bookshelves, and found this rocking chair by graduate student/designer, David Phillips:

Beautiful rocking chair designed by David Phillips (source: davidphillips.us)

But that’s not enough. I also found a Voronoi bug hotel…in response to a competition to build a 5-star hotel for bugs (!!). The story behind that is here:

The five-star bug hotel from Arup Associates. (source: Good.is)


Innovative New Water Filter Design funded by YOU from Soma Water Filter.


The personal filtration market has an interesting, new competitor

Because I am a water engineer and have studied the water quality in the US (atleast the areas I’ve lived in), I tend to generally drink water straight out of the tap. But I still love new design and technology in the space.

There’s a new competitor out in the personal water filtration space, competing against Brita, PUR, and a couple of similar products on the market. Imagine a designer (similar to IDEO) being asked to redesign a Brita Water Filter…that would be SOMA Water Filter.

What makes them particularly unique is that they are 100% recyclable and sustainable (excluding the fuel costs/postage involved with shipping). The filters are compostable (I assume they use activated charcoal, like Brita). Glass makes them classy, and I expect dishwasher safe (but also breakable). But their model is particularly unique and SMART. They work on a subscription basis, generally by half a year or annually. Every couple of months, they will ship you a water filter…making them a regular part of your life.  And they have a brilliant and very catchy advertising video. They certainly know what they are doing!! I wouldn’t be surprised if they soon pair up with Charity:Water.

Check out their excellent kickstarter campaign. If you do invest, tell me what you think of the water…they are for sure going into business because they’ve already made a splash in the media and are close to getting their ask:

Innovation in Sanitation: Sanitation Hackathon

Thankfully, several innovative Sanitation projects are popping up around the world. Take the recent Sanitation Hackathon from Dec 2012, when 1100 developers and technologists convened to address Sanitation problems from the developing world. This featured a collaboration of public, private, and non profits from around the world.

From what I could tell, there was an onsite challenge, and an offsite one for app development. You can track and see the results here.