Day 18: Aesthetic

These past few weeks have been much saturated by testing, validation, and streamlining an effective design for stoves. We have pulled out all the fancy equipment that makes me feel extra legitimate, including but not limited to: stabbing needles on the end of wires into things on fire, shooting laser beams from a temperature gun, and gridding chalk with as much superb precision. It’s all very thrilling trust me. BUT as we have continued iteration focusing on the most effective design, we have let something extremely important choke in the dust: aesthetic.

Aesthetic is probably just as important as whether a design works or not because even if something has sound engineering, people might not feel compelled to use it because it’s ugly. Thus comes into play what occurred today.


If you’ve all been reading (thanks for staying tuned) you know that we just finished building the rocket stove design a few days ago with Sumitraben, so today we went back to Dolatpura to pull out the PVC pipes it was molded around, as well as add the lapedo coating. This seemed much like normal procedure except for one problem: one of the PVC pipes was so stuck to the inside of the stove that by trying to pull it free you picked up the whole stove along with it. After much struggle between the efforts of Sai and I (with me thinking all was lost), Viral as determined as he always is, came to the rescue. By dripping water between the pipe and the stove along with sheer superhuman strength Viral managed to free our stove **SUCCESS**

That really wasn’t much of an aesthetic thing, so here’s how that comes into play. With our stove liberated from the evil grasps of PVC, Sumitraben began to coat the rocket stove with lapedo (cow dung clay mixture) using the same technique as usual. Yet something was different this time!


Sumitraben started to decorate the stove with the coolest add ons and patterns I’ve seen, and after about 15 minutes, the rocket stove was transformed into what looked like an awesome maharaja palace castle hybrid. Several Dolatpura residents passed by and noted the sweet aesthetics, eager to see how the stove would work when dry. With the Sumitraben-crafted designs on the stove, I’m confident this iteration is more desirable than any before.


After our visit to Dolatpura, we made a pit stop at Kalol to buy a larger gauge PVC pipe to cast our cement chimney in. Since the metal has been disintegrating in around 2-3 months, we have been trying to come up with designs to make the stove more durable. Tomorrow we will visit the cement caster and he will help us pour it.


On the note of toilets team, Sai, Natasha, Rushil, and Viral are talking to the first contractor we previously spoke to in order to get different cost estimates on the whole system. We went through each component of the design for him to determine total volumes for material cost estimates. The conversation revealed a design flaw involving the angle of the pipe connections between the outhouse and the compost bins. After a long discussion we determined a solution and explained it to the contractor. Two and half hours later we went through the whole design and the contractor had all the numbers he needed for a cost estimate!

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