Skipping Rocks Lab

What is your corporation most trying to accomplish with its new innovation?

When we drink bottled water we throw away plastic, 80% of the bottles are not recycled. This act of consumerism reflects the society in which we live. The 90% of the cost of bottled water is because the bottle. To fabricate a PET bottle is necessary to use 10cl of petrol. Is recommend not to reuse the bottle; however it takes 700 years to decompose.

Ooho! Propose an alternative to the plastic bottle. Using the culinary technique of sphereification, the water is encapsulated in a double gelatinous membrane. The technique consist into apply sodium alginate (E-401) from the brown algae and calcium chloride(E-509) in a concrete proportions in order to generate a gelification on the exterior of the liquid. The final package is simple, cheap, resistant, hygienic, biodegradable and even eatable.

What do you think sets your corporation’s work apart from the work of others in your field?

Ooho! was born as the result of a design process meant to bring disruption rather than evolution. Ooho! differs from other bottles not only because it is made out of a different material but because it could change the way we package, transport and eventually consume water. Ooho! was thought by focusing primarily on the human: The experience of drinking water was of course at the center of the project but we also decided early on to share our work (and recipe) with the world so people could try to make it themselves.

What or who inspired your corporation to come up with this innovation?

The most clear inspiration is the way that nature use to encapsulate liquids using membranes. Made of by lipids and proteins enclose, limit and give the shape keeping the balance between the interior and the exterior. As example the egg yolk. As structural element a membrane works almost exclusively with traction forces. The technique of sphereification, of shaping a liquid into spheres which visually and texturally resemble caviar born in 1946. (US Pat. 2,403,547). In the 90s the Spanish chef Ferran Adria brought the technique to the modernist cuisine at his restaurant el Bulli. Ooho uses the sphereification in one of the elements most basic and essential for life, the water. The exploration of how other disciplines can solve design problems, generates interesting states as “how to design in the kitchen” or “how to cook the design” .

What role has serendipity played in the turning points in your corporation’s mission?

The idea for Ooho! came from another project about water, we were working on a artificial cloud that could evaporate water from the sea, fly with the buoyancy of the vapor and deliver it inland where is need it. When we face the task of delivering water we wanted to avoid plastic containers so we begging to experiment with different ways to packaging water. After a lot of lateral thinking and experimentation, we started to play with the technique of spherification and found a potential way to solve the problem we had identified. At the end the little side project became bigger and bigger.

What have been the greatest challenges that your corporation has encountered in developing your innovation?

On the process side we spent some time identifying the key elements that would enable people to easily reproduce our idea. But the main challenge remains that Ooho! is taking a route that goes at the opposite direction of the route taken by the whole packaging industry.

Do you believe leaders and innovators have certain qualities that they all share? If so, what?

We believe that leaders and innovators all share the ability to challenge the statu quo by suggesting a different vision of the future. Leaders and innovators believe that changing the world is possible. They have faith in their vision and they are able to communicate it to the world.

How would your corporation most like to change the world through its work?

Our main goal is to enable people to lower their impact on the planet by reducing their wastes.  

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