This is the first blog post about my new PhD project FOGHIVE© REMAKE: Ecodesign and Advanced Prototyping employing Remanufacture Materials. The aim of the project is to provide alternative water for rural settlements in currently fog-dense water-stressed regions, as well as a system for sustainable (re)forerestation of deserts and vanishing woodlands. For now I call this the Blue-Green Revolution encapturing advances in hydrolgy and sustainability, to prevent the catastrophic future reality described by Fred Pearce in his book When the Rivers Run Dry, 2006.
Extracting valuable water from the air has long lived in man's imagination, and now the concept of turning 'thin air' into drinkable fluids is becoming reality. From the fog capturing structures in the dangerous, giant-worm ruled wastelands described by Frank Herbert in his legendary series Dune, to the coastal mountains of Chile today where entire villages are supplied from harvested cloud water. The first such projects date back to the 1960s with the work of Bob Schemenauer, founder of FogQuest (http://www.fogquest.org/) a charity which provides fog collectors in climatically suitable regions in need of fresh water around the globe. Their astonishing humaniatarian relief portfolio prides more than 20 projects, and their efforts are not the only ones in the fight for alternative water provision.
The University of Strathclyde has now joined the camapaign of advancing the fog collection with a completely unique innovation: 3-D fog collectors, optimised for specific climatic conditions, manufactured with recycles industrial waste. There are many opportunities on the horizon, and many bright engineering minds in the university to collaborate with. At the moment I am researching the past and present innovations in fog collection techniques, gathering information and inspiration for the advances in the technology I will propose and develop with a team of collaborators under the supervision of Dr Cristian Suau. For more information on his original FOGHIVE© project please visit EcoFabrica (http://www.ecofab.org/index.php?/projects/foghive-3d-fogtrap-chile/).
Some emerging ideas are to construct fog collecting bridges to ease transport in the arid areas, constructing speacial fog oases in the fog-dense moonscape of the Atacama, developing self-deployable 'smart 4D material' variations, using game play as hydraulic pumps, gathering precedents from space explorers such as Surveyor and extreme altitude light-tech architecture, and other brain-stormed ideas. The choice of location will be the first important step in the development of the project, it will require plentiful investigation, starting from the localities of Glasgow and reaching to the Namibian Desert, the Indian planes, the Chilean coasts.
Keep an eye on the progress, the challenges we face and the creative ideas we have here! Expect weekly updates with diverse information, from hydrology through deployable structures and materials sourcing, to volunteer opportunities for a great Blue-Green Revolution cause.