Member Since 2010
Name: Aquaovo by Manuel Desrochers
Location: Montreal, Canada
Product: Ovopur water purifier
Manuel Desrochers of Aquaovo is serious about water. Very serious. He thinks about, lectures about it, has an entire philosophy about it. The culmination of all this water-centered brain power is the Ovopur water filter, a white porcelain oval that’s as handsome as it is useful.
What inspired you to create this product?
The process started about 12 years ago, when I attended a lecture about water and how it’s essential to life—something that’s easy to forget about in our hyperactive society. It struck me that this was an important message, so I learned more about it. I ended up giving lectures on water and the poor state of drinking water supplies throughout the industrialized world. I realized that I had no solutions to the problems I was talking about. So I started to think about them. It didn't take me long to realize that the short-term solution was closely related to individual water filtration. I researched and tried many existing water filtration systems but none of them met my essential criteria—mainly, water quality, environmental sustainability and aesthetic integration into the environment. Then a friend said, “why don't you create your own?” So I did.
How was the Ovopur made?
I’m drawn to natural and organic design, so the work of Viktor Schauberger was a natural starting point. He was an Austrian forest warden and naturalist who established that the ideal shape for storing water was the egg shape—Aquaovo is Latin for “water egg.” And the ideal material ended up being natural clay. So I made a first drawing, brought it to a local potter and asked him to make the prototype. At that point my goal was to make this product locally with no plastic parts and as little energy consumption as possible, but it didn't take long to realize that this wouldn’t be possible. I ended up having my production in China. At first I wasn’t very enthusiastic about the idea of having my products "made in China". But then I realized that if you look beyond the recent cheap mass production history, China has a tradition of handmade production techniques that have developed over three thousand years. And that is particularly true about Chinese porcelain and ceramics production, which is known all over the world.
What was the big aha! you had while creating this product?
There were many ahas and ohos during this long creative process! I think my biggest aha was to discover and develop my own creative power. Ending up with a real functional product that once was a foolish idea and a hand drawing on a piece of paper is a wonderful feeling.
Can you describe your creative process?
After a lifelong observation of the natural and chemical processes, a very wise man once said that nothing was created or lost but that everything was transformed by association or dissociation of existing basic elements. I don't believe in pure creation. My creative process is the process of assembling existing elements, ideas and concepts to create a new whole product or concept that will be functional, aesthetically integrated and pleasing as well as respectful of the human being and its environment.
What do you love about what you do?
The feeling that anything is possible. Any weird idea can become a real 3D product with a bit of work and lot of money!
How would you sum up your aesthetic/design philosophy?
"Observe, Understand and Imitate Nature". This quote from Viktor Schauberger has been at the very core of my design philosophy since the beginning.
What are you working on next?
I have many new products on the work table, most of them are water-related and designed to enhance the Aquaovo experience. Soon to come is a new crystal clear gravitational water filter with a lower price point designed for the mass market. I'm also working on a personal portable hydration vessel designed for short and long distance travelers. There's also a lower capacity filtration pitcher, a phytofiltration air filter and a chemical-free natural filtration home spa.
What would you like to do other than your current occupation?
I would love to write books and own a spa center of my design.