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Finalist 2019: Altered Nozzle

This is the story of a prototype tucked away in a chest of drawers that, through a family dinner, became a global design success and at the same time helps reduce water spillage around the world.

From a chest of drawers and a viral Kickstarter campaign to a global company with an environmentally friendly product. This finalist in the Grand Award of Design has only just begun its journey to make all households consume water smarter.

From chest of drawers to global product

Altered Nozzle’s story begins about ten years ago with innovation technology professor Kaj Mickos. After attending a world exhibition in Shanghai, he began to think about a solution for the unnecessary water consumption that occurs when we do such a simple thing as washing our hands. This led him to develop a prototype for this purpose, but the prototype ended up in a chest of drawers and remained there.

A few years ago, the friends Mikael Abbhagen and Johan Nihlén began to discuss a new direction in their careers. Johan Nihlén is married to Kaj Micko’s daughter and during a family dinner they had started talking about design products that can make a difference in the world. Then Kaj Mickos presented his old prototype to Johan Nihlén and it was the start of a long journey where the three founded the company Altered.

The power of social media

After a few modifications, they had a working product and ran a Kickstarter campaign in September 2016. The campaign did poorly at first, but then it was picked up by the Now This Future network, who recut it, and it took off. Today, that video has about 12 million views.

The campaign went viral in the Whatsapp network in the Middle East and India, among others. In one night, 500 emails came from India, all wanting to buy the product. The founders sat for several days and emailed that there was so far no product in production.
The company received five million through the Kickstarter campaign, which became the basis for being able to start production.

“I have to pinch my arm sometimes. It has gone so fast. We have met global players and government representatives.”

Mikael Abbhagen, Design Director

Design that does good

Mikael Abbhagen explains that design is an incredibly important part of Altered products. The basic idea has been to integrate the product as much as possible into already existing faucets through design.

– We didn’t want the product to be its own type, but just blend in. The worst product is the one that is not used. Then it is useless, says Mikael Abbhagen.

Finalist Grand Award of Design 2019: Altered Nozzle

Producing company: Altered.

Design: Altered.

Motivation: With a design that smoothly and efficiently integrates with existing interior design, Altered takes it upon itself to help households around the world to save on water consumption. Altered Nozzle is a typical example of a smart consumer product that can make a real difference.


Dan Nyman


Omid Ekhlasi