humidity-responsive water collector

HYGRO is a prototype made to explore the hygroscopic behavior. Hygroscopic morphology is defined by the study of forms made from materials that tend to absorb moisture from air. The goal is to produce kinetic energy by nature itself, without any artificial mechanical assistance.

All the prototypes have been made of wood veneer 1,5mm thick, composed of wood fibre in one direction. Our testing showed that water particles expand the exposed fibres of the wood, causing bending and warping into the oppposite side. If the wood gets wet from both sides, no deformation apapears. In order to elimanate absorption from both sides we tested plastics and wood varnish. 

Studing plants movements and being inspired by fog collectors, we incorporated a plastic mesh in between the two layers of wood. When relative humidity level rises, the movement of the wood stretches the mesh, which becomes able to condense the humid air and subsequently collects water. This way, a passive smart material system has been created.

Tutors: Ecologic Studio

In collaboration with: Carlos Bausa Martinez, Dimitris Aidonis, Karl Francalanza

Institution: IAAC

Year: 2013