In the future, when drinking water is scarce because sea levels have risen to engulf the land along with our reservoirs, or summer lasts for years, we’re going to need ways to conserve the precious liquid. Hosepipe bans may work, they may not. If they don’t then we may need to attach some artificial organs to ourselves so we can process water more efficiently. This is the proposition from designers Takram, who were asked to design a water bottle for the next century when the world may turn into a flaming hell-pit of annihilation. Where Mad Max looks like a documentary.
Artwork by Bryan Christie, with organ rendering by Takram design engineering
Instead of a water bottle they came up with the Shenu: Hydrolemic System (above), a set of artificial organs that help the body retain and recycle water for when it’s become a scarce, sought-after commodity. The idea is that with these artificial organs the user will need to consume less water. This augmented conservation technique will be accomplished by a set of six additions:
Rubedo Candies: These are sweets with a hard shell and soft center, ingesting five will provide the user with their daily intake of nutrients and 32 mL of precious H20. So forget roadkill sandwiches and cockroach soufflé, this is the food stuff of a forsaken world.
Nasal Cavity Inserts: This may not sound very appealing, but who knows. In a post-apocalyptic dust fest you might not be so picky. The nasal inserts help to reduce the amount of water lost through exhalation, condensing the moist air from the lungs and returning it to your body when you inhale.
Arterial-Jugular Heat Exchangers: The heat exchangers inhibit perspiration on the neck, while also producing electricity from any excess body temperature.
Heat Irradiant Neck Collar: This turns the electricity generated from the neck device to heat and will “radiate it through polymicroporous titanium grills.” Whatever they are.
Urine Concentrator: Where would your future apocalyptic-ridden self be without a urine concentrator? Thirsty? Probably. This device is a “hydrolemic bladder,” a “microcosmic water filtration and uric concentration plant.”
Renal Fecular Dehydrator: You can tell someone’s really put some thought into something when they start talking about renal fecular dehydrators. You may be grossed out now, but you’ll be grateful when society crumbles. What this does is probably best explained in Takram’s own words: “Located in rectal ampulla, the dehydrator works to elongate fecal duration in the large intestine and squeeze out any remaining water.” Nice.
The whole package
So there you have it, the “water bottle” of the future. If you want to see the system in the flesh, it’ll be on display at dOCUMENTA(13) at the Kunsthalle Fridericianum in Kassel, Germany, from 9 June until 16 September.
Photos: Naohiro Tsukada