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Monday, March 14, 2011

NIM - Teaching Valuable Lessons

Photo Credit:  Bringatrailer.com
When I was 19, my dad & I spent the entire summer working on my parents’ old 1972 Datsun 510.  I scraped up money for parts and insurance and when we finally got it licensed my dad turned to me and said, “So, you figure about $1,000 is a fair price for the car?”  I was devastated. I thought the car was just going to be given to me.  Instead, the true cost of car ownership was brought into crystal clear focus for me.

Photo Credit:  dornob.com
Which brings us to today’s New Idea Monday.  This is not a Datsun 510.  It is a faucet.  But it’s a faucet designed to teach us the same sort of lesson I learned that summer.  It’s called the “1LL” which stands for “1 litre limit.”  The tube on the back fills with exactly 1 litre of water; once that litre has been used up you wait for the tube to fill up before you can use the faucet again.  Designed by Yonggu Do, Dohyung Kim & Sewon Oh, it answers the question of how to get users to notice how much water they are using, rather than just letting it go down the drain.

As much social commentary as a plumbing fixture, this concept will need to address a number of functional issues (how to clean the reservoir tube for one) before it sees widespread use.   But I can see this being used in public facilities like a rest stop or a park where having a hot water option isn’t essential, but saving water is.

2 comments:

  1. Arne, I think that faucet would be a great idea for a childrens bathroom, especially. I have 3 granddaughters who love to play with the water, don't all kids?

    I also loved the pic of the Datsun. The first new car I bought was a 1978 Datsun 210. It was about a year after I got married. It was so stripped down, it had 4 tires and a heater, literally. No radio, no air conditioner, a stupid decision when you live in the deep South.

    Brenda Lynn

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  2. Brenda,

    What I love about this faucet concept (I have to keep reminding myself it's a prototype) is how simply it solves the problem. I think kids would love it without knowing why it was designed that way. The best lessons are the ones we don't realize we've learned.

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