If you pay the bills in your household, you probably know that cooling your home in the summer is one of the largest (and most expensive) drains on your energy bill. Well, Ecooler by Mey and Boaz Kahn is a concept that cools the air using a system of hollow ceramic tiles filled with water. One of the third prize winners in Designboom’s IIDA Awards 2010, the clever, beautiful design is a promising passive alternative to bulky, noisy, energy sucking ACs.

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While it looks like a decorative element, the Ecooler is actually a hollow ceramic tile that can carry and transfer water. It’s also modular, meaning you can set it up in different configurations using a designated connector. Since the water itself cools the air, no electricity is necessary (kiss those $100 energybills goodbye).

The Ecooler was inspired by two middle-eastern elements – the mashrabiya and the jara. The mashrabiya is a traditional architectural element that acts as a mediator between the inside and the outside by allowing air and light into internal spaces. The jara is an ancient clay jug that cools water. Head on over to DesignBoom for more photos of this beautiful project!

+ Mey and Boaz Kahn

Via DesignBoom