“Agua pa’ Tomá” is a co-creative project for the development of water purifying systems in the communities of the Pacific region in Colombia. By  directly involving the participants in the different stages of the design process (planning, design and execution) through playful activities and  creativity booster tools, , the cultural appropriation of the purifying system is favored.

The pilot project was developed during 2009 with the community of La Barra (Valle del Cauca, Colombia). Up to multiple reasons (economics, political, geographic, etc); this region doesn’t count with an established water purifying system. The direct water intake is commonly done by the recollection of rainwater but within the dry seasons (around 3 months per year), the access to potable water is highly restricted.

Agua pa’ Tomá seeks to favor the continuity of the potable water intake during the dry seasons in the rural zones of the pacific region, employing the surrounding alternative water sources.

A methodology of co-creation was settled up for developing the project in the heart of “La Barra”, the community was involved on the designing process from A to Z, resulting in one water purifying home system which can be builded, operated and maintained by themselves.

The main objective was achieved by the articulation of the cultural variables including the cognitive style of population (field dependent learners), the technical variables of home water purifying processes and the participatory design methodology.


La Barra, Valle del Cauca, Colombia 2009.