Shenu: Hydrolemic System

Turning artificial organs into water bottles of the future, 2012

Shenu is a series of artificial organs designed to conserve the amount of water necessary to sustain human life. It responds to the brief given by an exhibition at dOCUMENTA(13) where Takram was tasked to design a water bottle in a hypothetical, dilapidated earth environment a hundred years in the future.

In a world where the water supply is limited, the water bottle, which presumes the abundant water supply, did not seem a logical solution. Instead, we came to a hypothesis that, perhaps, if the amount of water coming out of a human body can be minimized, it would effectively minimize human water consumption. This problem reframing allowed us to reassess the human body as a water container, leading to the concept of designing artificial organs.

Nasal Cavity Inserts


Rubedo Candies

A capsule taken five times a day that supplies 32 ml of water as well as a minimum amount of necessary nutrients and hormones

Nasal Cavity Inserts

Apparatus for keeping water from escaping the body by condensing exhaled breath into dew

Arterial-Jugular Heat Exchangers

Artificial blood vessels for generating electricity using the excess blood temperature to power the Neck Collar

Heat Irradiant Neck Collar

A collar-shaped radiator that cools the body by converting electricity into heat that is then radiated into environment

Urine Concentrator

An apparatus implanted inside the bladder to concentrate urine and send extracted water to the kidneys

Renal Fecular Dehydrator

An apparatus for the rectum to efficiently return water extracted from feces to the large intestines


Project Lead: Kinya Tagawa (Takram)
Concept Development: Kotaro Watanabe (Takram)
Design: Kaz Yoneda (ex-Takram)
Art Direction: Moon Kyungwon, Jeon Joonho
Project Lead & Concept Development (until 2011): Motohide Hatanaka (ex-Takram)
Photograph: Naohiro Tsukada
Figure Artwork: Bryan Christie (with the addition of organ rendering by Takram)

© 2012 Takram design engineering

Special Thanks: Form Corporation, Nichinan Group
for their superb prototype production capabilities and technical support
Masaru Nagamine of Nagamine Manufacturing Co., Ltd.
for information and materials on microporous titanium developed and manufactured by them

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