Reservoir Studio’s Carpenter is Ida Ely Rubin Artist in Residence at the MIT Center for Art, Science & Technology (CAST)

B. Stephen Carpenter II, Ida Ely Rubin Artist in Residence at the MIT Center for Art, Science & Technology (CAST), and Lawrence Susskind, Ford Professor of Urban and Environmental Planning, will combine art, science and social practice to demonstrate how to enhance practices and possibilities for sustainability through socially engaged art and education.

During the fall term, Carpenter will provide new perspectives on issues of access, privilege and the global water crisis  through a series of seminars, performances and workshops. The series, entitled Intentional Public Disruptions: Art, Responsibility and Pedagogy, will provide an opportunity for students, faculty and the MIT community to work with Carpenter and learn about his work and approach to socially engaged art and education.

Presented by the MIT Center for Art, Science & Technology (CAST) and the MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning.

B. Stephen Carpenter II



Reservoir Studio and EMCLab Co-Sponsor a Spring 2017 Design Challenge Team

Reservoir Studio and the Electroactive Materials Characterization Lab (EMCLab) co-sponsored an undergraduate engineering team in the spring 2017 Design Challenge. The Learning Factory coordinates the Design Challenge event every semester.

Reservoir Studio and EMCLab challenged a team of five undergraduate engineering students to make an inexpensive DIY kit with all materials necessary to produce inexpensive colloidal silver and colloidal copper for use in point of use ceramic water filters. The DIY colloids produced in the kit had to be as effective as the commercial colloidal silver used conventionally in point of use ceramic water filters. The team was also charged with creating an easy to read instructional manual to accompany the DIY kits. The full description of the challenge for this project is below.

Water-related diseases cause millions of deaths annually around the world. Lack of safe drinking water, pervasive disease, and substandard sanitation are known as the global water crisis. Among the most active means of responding to the global water crisis include the production and distribution of point-of-use ceramic water filters manufactured from local materials in communities in need. Since the late 1990s, thousands of the filters have been produced, distributed, and used in the developing and third world. These point-of-use ceramic water filters are designed as low-cost, first responses and temporary solutions to provide clean water in remote areas after natural disasters. The active component in these filters is colloidal silver that attracts and renders inert microbes and other waterborne diseases with 99.9% effectiveness. The colloidal silver is the most expensive element in the filters and is not readily available in communities of need. Reducing the cost to produce the filters would enable wider distribution and improve the health of millions of people annually. In order to make the process more affordable, one solution is to develop DIY fabrication approaches to produce colloidal silver inexpensively from repurposed and local sources. Other materials such as copper, which is abundantly available, inexpensive, and potentially effective against waterborne diseases, could also be produced, which would help millions more people annually through this low-cost approach to filtering clean water. In short, we need to develop an inexpensive DIY approach to producing colloidal silver and colloidal copper to expand the range of affordable responses to the global water crisis. The goals for this project are: (1) research and design DIY approaches to producing colloidal silver and colloidal copper from scrap or inexpensive sources; (2) test the effectiveness of the DIY materials in ceramic water filters in comparison to conventionally-produced water filters enhanced with colloidal silver; and, (3) design an image-based instruction book to accompany the DIY silver and copper kits for end users regardless of culture or language (think step-by-step instruction books used to assemble IKEA furniture or LEGO building sets).

yuanshuang liu, keith weaver, vince pasquini, sergio diaz, and megan burns,

PWAG and Reservoir Studio Workshop at New Castle High School

On Friday November 11, 2016, members of Potters Water Action Group and Reservoir Studio visited New Castle High School  (New Castle, PA) to conduct a water filter presentation and demonstration. Art teacher Raquel Flora and PWAG member/art teacher Cynthia Blackwell coordinated the event.

img_0415The presentation took place in the auditorium supported by slides and a display which included a water filter, ceramic receptacle, books, and a portable water filter press. The water filter production demonstration took place in the art room after the presentation. The art room was filled to capacity. We produced a water filter from scratch with cooperation from students.


PWAG and Reservoir Studio appreciate the administration, teachers, and students at New Castle High School. We extend special thanks to Ms. Flora for her hard work organizing and coordinating the visit. We are proud to include this wonderful school as a K12 Curriculum Partner in “the war against waterborne disease,” our water filter curriculum project and the African Diaspora Water Crisis Curriculum Project.

Presentation at State College Rotary Club

The State College Rotary Club invited me (Steve) to make a presentation on the topic of the ceramic water filters and collaborations with Discovery Space Children’s Museum in State College. Tuesday September 16. I established a history of the ceramic water filter technology and acknowledged key people who have been influential to the work I have been doing through Reservoir Studio (Dick Wukich, Manny Hernandez, Lisa Ballentine, Oscar Muñoz, Bryan Boulanger, Ron Rivera, and Fernando Mazeriegos). I concluded with an overview of several projects or potential projects which included a mobile educational workshop, an interactive museum exhibit for children, mobile filter production equipment, the traveling water filter receptacle exhibition, and work by Dick Wukich and Potters Water Action Group to support the creation of a water filter production facility in Osun State, Nigeria.


Chalkboard with mobile workshop check-list and pyramid of plaster filter press molds. Reservoir Studio.

Introducing The Affordable Portable Filter Press

At the College of Engineering Design Showcase, presented by the Learning Factory, Thursday May 5th at the Bryce Jordan Center, the five member team of Chris Guzman, Josh Lashbrook, Anthony Pomorski, Sean Rooney, and Brad Scott presented the Affordable Portable Filter Press publicly for the first time.

IMG_0981Reservoir Studio sponsored this amazing team and posed a simple challenge: design an inexpensive portable ceramic water filter press that can fit into a suitcase.

IMG_0984Their response is nothing short of remarkable. The team won two awards for their work. They tied with two other teams for first place in the Design Award category. The team also tied one other team to win Best Poster. Special thanks are also in order to their instructor, Tiffany Camp.

IMG_0999In my view, these amazing young men have have revolutionized the field. Their portable filter press design is a game changer. This press will help produce water filters for people who lack adequate access to potable water. It can also be used in demonstrations in schools and public performances.

IMG_1003If it is not evident, I am proud of these students and I am impressed with their work.

IMG_1019Penn State Proud!