Fog is moisture. And in some places in the world, it’s the only kind of moisture. This is true in the Atacama Desert — the world’s driest desert — which runs along the west coast of South America through Chile and Peru. In the Atacama it never rains – it’s been compared to Mars, and has even been used as a location for shooting otherworldly scenes for television shows. For the past several years, architects have been exploring the possibility of collecting water from fog in order to supply nearby villages, and the Nevada Museum of Art currently has one of these concepts on display — a series of white fog-collecting towers.
The drawings are the collaborative work of architect Rodrigo Pérez de Arce, the Atacama Desert Center and students from the Catholic University in Santiago. They suggest a kind of spooky utopia, a place both lush and barren at once. The project is designed to support a garden and the water needs of a local village.
A few fog-collecting prototypes have been installed and used in the past few years near the Desert Center, but this is the first time such large-scale plans have been displayed. Besides digital renderings, the museum’s exhibit includes scale models, photos of the terrain, and an in-depth exploration of the issues surrounding communities near Atacama. It will be on display until December of this year.