Moreless and Radius Product Development
Soma Water Filter and Carafe
Soma Water Filter and Carafe
Current water filter pitchers perform a valuable function, but you don’t think of them as eco-friendly design objects, and you certainly wouldn’t put one out at a dinner party. Soma intends to change that. Soma is a beautiful and elegant glass carafe with a compostable water filter, delivered right to your door via subscription service. Soma separates itself from other water filters due to its holistic point of view. Not only does it deliver the best hydration experience, but the all-natural filter takes advantage of sustainable materials, Malaysian coconut shell carbon and silk, all in a plant-based filter casing.
In starck contrast to other water purification pitchers on the market, SOMA stands out for it’s clean, Iconic aesthetic. Most importantly, SOMA is just as much about presentation as it is about purification. While other filtration pitchers may be intended to live on the dinner table, SOMA is the first one that belongs there… When you see it you ask yourself – “Why hasn’t anyone done this before?”, which we felt is at the heart of great design. From it’s no nonsense, intuitive grip to it’s minimal and Iconic shape and user friendly filling features (just pour water on the lid) SOMA’s every detail is considered and works well. SOMA has clearly been designed holistically as opposed to being engineered from the ‘cartridge out’ .
Soma Water Filter and Carafe
Current water filter pitchers perform a valuable function, but you don’t think of them as eco-friendly design objects, and you certainly wouldn’t put one out at a dinner party. Soma intends to change that. Soma is a beautiful and elegant glass carafe with a compostable water filter, delivered right to your door via subscription service. Soma separates itself from other water filters due to its holistic point of view. Not only does it deliver the best hydration experience, but the all-natural filter takes advantage of sustainable materials, Malaysian coconut shell carbon and silk, all in a plant-based filter casing.2. The Brief: Summarize the problem you set out to solve. What was the context for the project, and what was the challenge posed to you?
The challenge of creating Soma became a balancing act of developing a water filter that functioned extremely well, maintained a simple and elegant design language, and stayed true to a sustainable and social commitment. In order to achieve this goal we needed to enhance the user experience through solving the common frustrations associated with current filtration systems. This was everything from the bulky two handed operation, the lid falling off during use, buying and replacing filters, or even those pesky black flakes. At the same time the form needed to exemplify an effective and intuitive design that seamlessly integrated into a user’s home whether, in the fridge or as a center piece on the table of a dinner party. All the while staying true to a sustainable product that would remove the guilt of throwing away a bulky filter that was destined for the landfill.3. The Intent: What point of view did you bring to the project, and were there additional criteria that you added to the brief?
Radius’ point of view was about rationalizing the right path by generating, developing and evaluating ideas that meet the success criteria of the ideal user experience.4. The Process: Describe the rigor that informed your project. (Research, ethnography, subject matter experts, materials exploration, technology, iteration, testing, etc., as applicable.) What stakeholder interests did you consider? (Audience, business, organization, labor, manufacturing, distribution, etc., as applicable)
Soma sets itself apart from other water filters through its holistic approach. Unlike current water filter pitchers Soma addresses all of the needs of today’s consumers; superior taste, phenomenal user experience, beautiful design, and a positive impact on the environment. To enhance the hydration experience the team needed to solve for concerns users associated with existing water filters. During the discovery effort users provided insight to the inconvenience that current pitchers created when they require both hands to fill or pour. The team used this mindset to create a design that is optimized for a single handed experience. After performing an ergonomic study the carafe was designed to balance and fit comfortably in the hand without sacrificing the required filtration flow rate. The team developed a trap door with a counterweighted system that allowed Soma to be filled one-handed. The same counterweight system was incorporated into the pour flap and lifted the flap when Soma was tipped to remove any additional interference. Users couldn’t stress enough frustration with water filter lids that would fall off and dump water all over the floor. Personally empathizing with similar experiences, the team developed hidden snap features that would secure the lid but didn’t interfere with the overall aesthetic. These snaps kept the lid properly attached to the reservoir during use but allowed easy removal when needed. To pour effectively from the hour glass shape the team developed an internal channel with specific ribbing and a carefully crafted gasket around the bottom of the reservoir. The gasket also creates a suction to hold the entire reservoir assembly inside the glass carafe. The heart of Soma is its all-natural filter. To filter the water naturally, Malaysian coconut shell carbon and housing made from plant-based plastic was used. These materials allow expired filters to biodegrade in commercial composting facilities.5. The Value: How does your project earn its keep in the world? What is its value? What is its impact? (Social, educational, economic, paradigm-shifting, sustainable, environmental, cultural, gladdening, etc.)
The main goal of SOMA is threefold. First, to provide a compostable filter made from renewable resources that greatly reduce impact on the environment. Second, to provide an automated, subscription based filter system that removes the variable of having to run to the store to purchase a replacement. And third, a portion of every filter purchased helps to bring clean drinking water to those in need through the Charity: Water organization.