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Design

This ancient air conditioner is made out of super cool terracotta tubes

FEB 22, 2018 | By Nidhi Upadhyaya
Left: While being functional, the installation also acts as a work of art; Right: Hollow terracotta tubes are composed within a circular frame.
The earthen members are designed using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) analysis.
The stacking technique provides a larger surface area for the cooling effect.
Photographs by S Anirudh courtesy Ant Studio.
If you have ever been to Noida in the summer, you know exactly how unbearable the temperatures can be. For Deki Electronics, the situation was exacerbated in their factory because of hot air blasts from a generator that regular cooling methods were failing to counter.
Local design firm Ant Studio came up with an ingenious solution to this problem by looking into ancient “air conditioning” techniques that led to an experiment featuring the process of evaporative cooling. After the success of a stacked brick prototype, the studio’s founder Monish Siripurapu and his team started to explore other forms and geometries. Terracotta, with its inherent cooling nature, was predominantly used as it is both durable and inexpensive.
By placing tubes of the material within a circular ring, the arrangement was both functional and artistic. Waste water from the factory was then trickled down this assembly, cooling the hot air passing through the cylindrical members and reducing the temperature of the surrounding area.
Monish divulges, “We are working on a modular design that is accessible to the general public and we are also formulating this as a design feature for those who prefer a tailor made solution.” He claims that the design is scalable and can also be applied to large pedestrian plazas. We would love to see it implemented indoors as well, even in homes.
Webiste: www.antstudio.orgAlso read: Inside the enchanting Mumbai apartment that’s designer Anjali Mody’s first marital home