A water-purifying boat designed for a floating slum

Bamboo Recumbent is a bamboo raft that improves water quality and local health in the Philippines.

Two industrial design graduates, WooSung Lee and ChanYeop Jeong have designed an eco-friendly bamboo boat for the flood-prone region of Navotas in the Philippines. The raft-like vehicle was created for Michelin’s “Mobility for All” competition, which challenged designers to come up with a vehicle that provides simple, practical and affordable mobility to the world’s more underserved areas.

The boat referred to as the Bamboo Recumbent, addresses the flooding in Navotas by offering a way for locals to avoid contact with the polluted water. In the slum settlement, people live in floating houses where they are susceptible to water-borne diseases, especially during the rainy season when waste escapes from landfills and contaminates the water.

Lee and Jeong proposed that Michelin manufacture a front and back pedalling rig to sell to the local user, who would then need to add bamboo rods to make up the body of the boat. Because the bamboo is cheap and easy to find, a user could simply replace or repair the body at any point. The rig would be composed of four rolling paddles, two at the front and two at the back, and pedals.

An important component of the design is the water-purification system. Lee and Jeong included Lifestraw filters in the structure to help purify the water as it moves along the disease-infested canals.