hygroscopic snapshot

 Hygroscopic behavior of 1mm thick pieces of linden wood, 5x times sped-up.

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  Within this architectural context, 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. It is therefore anticipated that this type of “natural technology” can be exploited and the produced energy can be used for creating some kind of architectural structure with a function, useful for the community. In our case, the community consists of the people affiliated with IaaC and the Valldaura campus. During our first visit to the site, we found ourselves in the middle of a thick mist. The phenomenon seems to be common in the area, as the mountains and hills around gather large amounts of humidity when the sun is absent. Humidity in its usual form, as well as in the form of fog and rain is the “machine” that provides the kinetic energy we are called to use. But rain and fog are also water. Pure water, in fact, that can be consumed after minimal purification procedures. It can also be collected and stored. Some hygroscopic materials are able to trap the water droplets of rain on their fibrous structure. In fact, installations of simple mesh materials have been used successfully on this purpose in many cases. So, hygroscopic morphology is much more than the kinetic energy produced by specific materials like wood. We decided to focus on combining these two hygroscopic behaviors and creating some kind of mechanism that would be able to collect water. A kinetic water collector that would adapt to the humidity conditions by changing its shape: exposing the collecting meshes during high humidity time and protecting them when the environment is dry.   [ Dimitris Aidonis – Efilena Baseta – Carlos Bausá – Karl Francalanza ]