Award-winning design transforms unmet needs into Soma’s vision for water.
To compete in an expanding and lucrative water-filtration market, San Francisco-based startup Soma saw opportunity in the improvement in consumer water drinking experience, and identification and satisfaction of yet unmet consumer needs. Working with Radius, Soma sought to deliver a product not just different, but superior in aesthetic, usability, and sustainability.
The resulting Soma Carafe revealed a new level of water filtration design: a technologically complex, user-simple, and shatterproof carafe elegant enough for the dining table. Winner of multiple design awards, the carafe delivers one-handed ease and sustainable design that disrupted its market and forwarded Soma’s global brand vision.
INDUSTRIAL DESIGN / MECHANICAL DESIGN / HUMAN FACTORS
“We’re passionate about design. We believe the things that surround us everyday should be beautiful, functional, and simple.”
Easing the Pour
Consumer testing of articulated and unarticulated needs revealed consumer frustrations in competitive products, including the need for two hands to pour, an overall clumsiness, and a design aesthetic that kept it out of sight.
Ergonomic study of user experience led Radius to use of the carafe shape, for improved balance and hand fit. Further iterations worked to solve the challenge of lids falling off and the spillage issues common with traditional filters. Design improvements were incorporated into a sustainable system that ensured the process for buying and replenishing filters.
Complex Dynamics Cultivate Utter Simplicity
Development managed a fine, three-way balance among the usability, volume requirements, and form. To engineer a more effective pour, a complex internal channel and crafted gasket were created. The glass carafe created was tested against prototypes to determine the optimum grip size and most pleasing design aesthetics.
Water Filtration Systems Grow Up
Designed to be a centerpiece of a table, Soma’s simple exterior belies the complex engineering inside its sustainable shell. Its plant-based proprietary filter is packaged in a biodegradable plastic shell. Attractive at every angle, easy to pour with one hand and sits elegantly on any table, the hourglass Soma Carafe remains true to a sustainable and social commitment.
Innovation. Realized through the power of experience design.