GiraDora, a human-powered washer and spin dryer, increases efficiency and improves the experience of hand-washing clothes. The user sits on the drum-like appliance and pumps the pedal with her foot, which agitates, cleans, rinses, then spins-dries clothes.
HEALTH BENEFITS: GiraDora’s upright ergonomic operation reduces chronic back pain. Its ability to wash, rinse and spin-dry clothes removes hands from painfully cold water, and eliminates risk of tenosynovitis from wringing clothes.
PRODUCTIVITY & TIME SAVINGS: GiraDora reduces the time to wash a load of laundry from 1 hr by hand to 3-5 minutes
WATER SAVINGS & ECOLOGICAL BENEFIT: GiraDora saves money, by using 1/3 less water than hand-washing, and facilitates re-use of water.
BUSINESS PLAN/IMPLEMENTATION: GiraDora’s innovative business plan provides micro-entrepreneurs with 3 revenue streams to supplement income: laundry services, renting, sales.
In Fall 2011, we conducted field research in Lima’s Cerro Verde slum. We discovered that families’ livelihoods and futures depend on clean clothes: whether work uniforms or a child’s school uniform, the clothes needed to be presentable. But with no running water or drainage and muddy conditions, the burden of hand-washing clothes fell on women, including:
1. TIME: Hand-washing clothes is a time intensive chore which takes up to 6 hrs/day, 3-5 times a week -- equivalent to an unpaid part time job.
2. HEALTH RISKS: Tenosynovitis from wringing clothes; chronic lower back pain from squatting; hand pain from cold water; asthma as moldy clothes take up to 3 weeks to dry in winter.
3. WATER USE & COST: Families in Cerro Verde pay 10 times more for water than people in the city center.
4. POVERTY: Create opportunities to generate income and overcome poverty.
FIELD RESEARCH: GiraDora is the product of rigorous exploration starting with a 10-day research trip to Cerro Verde.
PATTERNS & OBSERVATIONS: We analyzed patterns in behavior and consumption and where the patterns intersected provided opportunities for design.
TESTING and CO-CREATION: We sent early washing and drying prototypes to Cerro Verde for field-testing. Families tested prototypes and shared ideas to drive final design. They identified a higher level of desire by combining the two prototypes into one device.
VISUAL APPEAL: We combined modern form language with elements from water barrels found in slums and based the palette on Peruvian “Cultura Chicha” recognizable by bright colors and folk patterns.
MANUFACTURING: We used Paul Polak’s principles to guide the target price of $40, or 1/5 the cost of a western equivalent of a spin dryer and reduced costs by repurposing the drive mechanism from an existing product we sourced for $3 from an overseas manufacturer.