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Heliopora top view



Redesign a product by developing and implementing a color, material, and finish strategy which includes the consideration of all senses.


Heliopora: a combined air purifier and diffuser designed with 'home' in mind. 


Competitive analysis

User interviews and journey mapping

Concept ideation

CMF research

Form development

Product design

Component engineering

3D Modeling

Digital rendering

Design Process


Problem Identification

Consumer and market research revealed an overlap in needs and wants for air purifier and diffuser owners. Thus this project sought to incorporate both systems while improving product functionalities and appearance for the user.

The following design goals were identified through user research including market analysis, user interviews, journey mapping, and secondary research.


  • Make functionality more transparent

  • Improve feedback when user interaction is required

  • Minimize waste products

  • Increase use of sustainable materials

  • Minimize interaction beyond ritualistic moments

  • Improve water refill and filter change processes



Based on the design goals, a strategy was divided into three categories, communication, integration, and sustainability.


  • Visualize the invisible – create visually interesting but unobtrusive indications of function and efficiency

  • Provide visual feedback when diffuser is running

  • Provide feedback when interaction is required


  • Incorporate the product as a part of the home

  • Use materials fitting to the home environment

  • Combine functionalities where possible


  • Maximize sustainability through reducing waste and using sustainable materials

  • Use sustainable materials for exterior and structural components

  • Minimize need for filter replacements

  • Increase efficiency of cleaning requirements

  • Maximize use of environmentally conscious filter materials


Final Concept

Heliopora was designed to fit in with and compliment one’s home furnishings to unobtrusively provide the benefits of air purification and diffusion.


Air Purification

Heliopora offers a five-stage air purification system that removes bacteria, dust, allergens, mold, and smells from your home. Users can choose between two filter options:

  • ‘Organic’ filter system uses purely biodegradable and organic components to maximize sustainability

  • ‘Pure’ filter system uses a HEPA filter to provide the maximum air purification


Heliopora’s diffuser system vaporizes essential oils to provide a variety of benefits to the user such as inducing calm or energy. The diffuser can be easily filled by carrying your Heliopora to the sink and pouring water direction into the top spout. When empty, the diffuser will automatically shut off.


Heliopora’s fan system is tuned to reflect the natural rhythm of ocean waves, a rhythm that has been shown to natural relax listeners through activating the parasympathetic nervous system.


Water caustic patterns illuminate on the bottom edge of Heliopora to notify the user when filters are due for a change. As a subtle nod to its coral inspiration, the filters of our oceans, the PPG Fresh Start finish mimics coral texture. In addition, the soft steam-like appearance of the diffused air provides a visual indication the Heliopora is running. Heliopora will be offered in five ocean inspired colors to fit in any home.


The prefilter structure in Heliopora helps to catch large debris such as pet hair to prolong the lifespan of the filters. In addition, the pre-filter is dishwasher safe allowing it to be cleaned and reused. The primary filters can be sent back after use allowing the organic materials to be composted and the AirCarbon filter frame to be processed and reused in new filters. Users can participate in a subscription service to automatically receive new filters and easily return their used ones.



The body of Heliopora features the Nissha Ceramic Surface material which provides the cool touch and ceramic weight of traditional ceramics with the durability of plastic. The PPG Fresh Start Finish provides a subtle visual coral texture brought to life as light reflects on the surface. The primary internal structures are made with Newlight AirCarbon, a carbon negative bioplastic material that can be reprocessed and reused.


Next Steps

The next steps for the project include:

  • Working prototype development

  • In-depth consumer journey research

  • Local regulatory investigations

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