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Irene Yen-Hsuan Shih

MA work

Innovating Water

Innovating Water is 'A Recipe for Clean Drinking Water'. Water is key for the health of children and their communities. Innovating Water is a sustainable community-based UV-solar water treatment system in schools and health facilities in Kenya. The schoolchildren are given safe clean drinking water treated by UV system everyday; they are also taught the merit of clean water, and the basic engineering education about the UV system and renewable energy like solar power.

Currently, there are three running Innovating Water systems in Kenya, and the solar power can be used to pump underground water, store vaccines, and even generate income for the community. Innovating water is developed and delivered through the co-creation of Kenyan charities, engineers, doctors and schoolchildren’s teachers. We source all the equipment from local business firms and test the safety of water with Kenyan public health unit. We produce the educational materials like brochures with schoolchildren’s mothers, the great Kenyan women who look after their family.

Innovating Water is not just about engaging and empowering local family and communities, but also giving opportunity of income generating initiatives. It’s not only to design a solution for global water crisis, but also to design future solution makers like engineers. Little children with a big impact.



  • Irene Yen-Hsuan Shih
  • MA Degree


    School of Design


    MA Service Design, 2014

  • Degrees

  • BA Industrial and Commercial Design, National Taiwan University of Science and Technology, 2011
  • Experience

  • Internship, SusLabNWE, 2013; Project designer, Franz Award, 2011; Internship, Creativity Center, Industrial Technology Research Institute, 2010; Internship, Taiwan Design Center, 2008-9
  • Exhibitions

  • London Design Festival, Life Examined Exhibition, 2013 ; Work-in-progress Show, Royal College of Art, 2014; Work-in-progress Show, Royal College of Art, 2014; Taiwan Designers' Week, 2012; Taipei World Design Expo & IDA Design Congress, 2011
  • Awards

  • Winner, Imperial College London, Business Plan Competition, 2013; Winner for The Best Inclusion of People, SusLabNWE Home Energy Hackday Workshop Competition, 2013
  • Publications

  • 'How Convenience Stores Utilize Service Design to Revive the Tourism Industry – 
The Case of Pinglin, Taiwan', The Second International Service Innovation Design Conference, Future University Hakodate, 2010