Four students from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago have tackled the issue of water security with an innovative new biomimicry design. Dewpoint draws inspiration from the drought-resistant cacti's ability to efficiently collect and store water molecules derived from fog.
(Dewpoint starts at 1.09)
Dewpoint is one of nine projects submitted to the inaugural Biodesign Challenge, which asked students to imagine future applications of biotechnology. Unsurprisingly, many of the designs addressed pressing environmental issues, such as pollution and water scarcity.
For their project, the Dewpoint team essentially recreated the spines of a cactus on a synthetic green surface. Like cactus, the device is able to collect and store water for later use. Several of them together form a panel, which may be mounted on a rooftop, for example. At present, little is known about the specific technology or materials used to make the spines, but its applications could be numerous.
In their web presentation, SAIC said, “Biodesign may tackle the issues of water security and water management by helping foster a more sustainable relationship between humans and their environments.” We look forward to seeing more such solutions deriving wisdom from nature.