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Q&A with Markus Diebel and Joe Tan of Soma Water

After a long-awaited, highly anticipated release date, Soma Water is finally here! The San Francisco-based startup enlisted former design director at Incase and IDEO Markus Diebel and Joe Tan, co-founder of Incase, to design the world's first 100% compostable water filter—a rare combination of elegance, ergonomics, and style. Here, we ask the duo about their process, future projects, and why failing along the way is crucial and essential to great design.

How did the collaboration come about with Soma Water?

After meeting with Mike we were immediately drawn to the idea of rethinking how we filter our water while also helping to solve the global water problem. There was great synergy and chemistry and we started to get to work.

Tell us a little more about the design process.

We set out to create the best water drinking experience and brainstormed different ideas and scenarios. We then created a few concepts and prototypes to validate our ideas. Soma went with the most iconic which happened to be one of the more challenging designs to make into a real product. We had to fail a lot along the way, chartering new territory, exploring what worked and what didn't, but we were also able to apply and further develop and apply our design process to facilitate creative decision-making and hone in on making the best idea a tangible reality. Looking back, this was an amazing process to see a big idea come to life.

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