‘Chile, the country of natural disasters’ is the phrase that seems to summarize the amount of unfavorable situations that Chile has experienced the last years: heavy rains, forest fires, earthquakes and volcano eruptions. In fact, Chile is among the first thirty nations at risk in the World Natural Disaster Risk Report, categorizing it as one of the most dangerous countries on the planet. However, it is this same story that has demarcated a path of learning and strategy. Chile is a developing country and is located far from the leading science centers, but it also has unique natural characteristics that can favor its research, both for the prevention of situations and for the reaction against possible crises. The government, as well as private initiatives, have developed lines of research to strengthen Chile’s resilience to natural disasters. Projects formulated from the social sciences, engineering and design, among many other disciplines, are included.
‘Aguante’ is a water distiller designed to be used during natural disasters, precisely because in response to situations that have occurred in Chile, delays have been detected in the arrival of assistance to rural or remote areas, as has happened with drinking water, medicines and food, among other basic and necessary supplies. During these situations, access to drinking water is extremely important and this distiller seeks to contribute through its simple and efficient use: it has a capacity of ten liters and is capable of distilling contaminated water through a rapid condensation process. To operate, it only needs a heat source. When using cold water at the top, the steam that touches the icy surface generates clean water, which will fall to be easily collected. It is a cheap device because of its materiality and it can be very useful in a future crisis situation. This project was exhibited at the 2017 Design Biennial in Chile.