brkt: drawing two [enabling]

November 30, 2008

Explicating the method of fog farming and potential applications for water derived.  I think this focuses on the enabling properties of the infrastructure, bracketing both the generative qualities (generative qualities I think would probably include the architectural qualities of the infrastructure, as well, as noted here with thoughts on tube perception) and strategies for deployment.

Components of the drawing, then:

1. the fog farm

a. structure for harvesting
in terms of material construction, this would be a typical fog farming setup.
study of three types of fog nets in Oman

2. uses of water

a. algae tubes

should include some indication of what the algae tubes are, as well as subuses.

i. algae create power

ii. cleaned water can be used for other (2) uses

b. growing plants

c. drinking water

diagram of the diagram [which is not intended to show graphic intent; nor is that sickly green color on the left something i was going for.  cmyk–>rgb fail]:


[this page supersedes “the technique of fog farming”, I think]

brkt: inspirations 2

November 23, 2008

1. the souk

How hard is it to see green (and pink, and blue, etc.) instead of brown overhead?  Not very.  People have been putting screens overhead for thousands of years in the desert to create public space.  No need to reinvent this wheel when we could just bite it.

Stan Allen’s souk project also comes to mind (in that book, but not available to browse online).


Extremely applicable to Nouakchott, Dubai, elsewhere with Arab architectural influence.   Potentially applicable elsewhere.

2. MOS/flip a strip

I think its easy to see an area-based collection system and an algae system being integrated into a single super-surface along the lines of MOS’s flip a strip entry (obviously MOS’s was only an algae-power system, not a fog farmer).  This would be either be an alternative or a parallel construction to an overhead algae pipe-surface.


well, and I’m pretty sure even this project is made up of tubes, even though they are expressing the tubes as panels in the renderings…

Thinking more about it, something demonstrated by the juxtaposition of the MOS renderings with the close-up view of the overhead screen is how much potential there is for us to play with the density, size, and distribution of tubes to effect different perpections of them as a surface.  This is true when considering them in terms of a still image, like the two above, but also when you consider viewing them (especially if they are layered) while moving – I’m thinking here of looking at rows of vertical stakes used in vineyards, and the sort of effects created when you watch them from a moving car for example.  If we decide to push a tube-centric fog+algae system, we ought to look at the ways simple manipulations of tubes can create complex variations in how our tubular-topology (!) is understood.  It could be for as simple a task as framing views according to one’s position or speed; or it could be something more complex, especially when integrated with studies of the milieu between our tubepology (too much?) and the urban fabric.


a. pulling water out of the air
seems like there are two methods of fog farming:

1. relies on cooling air to produce condensation

(a) examples:

– windcatchers:


A traditional Persian architectural device, used in conjunction with subterranean qanats.

While this article suggests that the windtraps (windcatchers) are used for producing water, I think they were more typically used to cool air for climate control and refrigiration:

“Windtraps for water production have been used here on Earth for thousands of years. They are pyramid shaped strutures made out of loose stones so that the wind can blow through them. They work best in desert areas where the difference between day and night temperatures is 30 degrees or more. Moisture in the air condenses on the stones as they are cooled at night like the condensation on a glass of cold water. It drips down and collects in a catchbasin. These devices worked even when the humidity was very low.”

– “WaterMill”

uses a small amout of electricity for refrigeration, see bldgblog

– Whisson windmill

not sure about this one, but here is a link.

2. relies on using a large surface area plus natural condensation (dewing) to trap water

(a) examples:

– fog nets (see older post)

b. what happens to the water after it is condensed?

1. used to feed algae tubes; this would (a) purify the water through biological process (b) produce energy perhaps as well (c) provide shade (providing shade is probably more properly a thought about the affective qualities of the tubes).

Does the potential ease of collecting solar energy in these locales advocate against (because the algae tubes would be unnecessary/redundant) or for (because algae, of course, also depend on solar energy) the use of algae for energy production?  I’m not sure.  I tend to think its a wash.

2. feeds into planting, potentially rooftop planting or other a form of agriculture; this does not require purification, as plants would perform the purification.

3. ultraviolet purification system, a la watermill

4. How does the post-condensation use of the water relate to the urban system?  That is, how is it programmed to effect desirable changes?  For instance, the availability of clean and pure drinking water or potable water for gardening might be social justice issues in a city such as Dubai or Nouakchott.

associated content:
initial post on fog farming