AIR ART_ Structural and Ludic Spatial Experimentation for Future Arid Environments.

AIR ART© is an experimental design studio -derived from FOGHIVE©- on fabrication of lightweight and modular inflatable fog collectors, which will regenerate engendered ecosystems in the planet such as the desert or remote contexts to prevent fires, draught and water shortage. AIR ART© is a radical and in-situ experimental workshop run by a selected group of students at the Welsh School of Architecture (2013).

We tested innovative structural capacities of inflatable structures and hydrophobic nets to increase the yield of atmospheric water collection and harvesting in AIR ART© will work on visionary design able to ‘milk’ fog and transform it into water for drinking and irrigation. AIR ART© mainly focused on the experimental teaching and learning system of eco-design1 implemented in several design studios and compact workshops. The selected case shows how engaged students and tutors can rapidly develop key structural and ludic skills such as spatial games, pneumatic tests, environmental awareness, lifecycle thinking and collaborative research-by-doing applied to radical mock-ups and 1:1 prototypes. The design brief consisted of an intensive three-week workshop on conceptualisation, modelling and fabrication of a base model and various configurations by mounting inflatable modular frameworks:

Key words: eco-design, fog collectors, pneumatic structures, low-tech fabrication and remaking (DIY), research by doing, comic visions and geometrical patterns.