RESHAPE18 | sensing materialities
Product design category

Designers: Fernanda Cabello, María Ignacia Alcaíno,  Anaïs Weil-


Yuvia is a fog water collector made of Durvillaea Antarctica designed to collect water in Alto Patache, located in the Atacama Desert, to cultivate vegetation in this place with serious water shortage.
This desert is known to be the driest in the world. Within it, different people have lived there for centuries. Without any type of access to water to survive, the natives have dedicated to finding different solutions to carry out their subsistence.
Due to the conditions in which Alto Patache is located (between the Atacama Desert and the Pacific Ocean), a microclimate phenomenon is generated, where high temperatures hit this sector, producing a peculiar effect that occurs in very few places in the world, the kamanchaka. This is a type of fog that occurs near the sea due to the condensation of the sea surface, due to the high temperatures that dominate the place, resulting in this dense fog.
Due to the lack of water and the existence of this thick fog, the inhabitants created a system of ropes that are raised in the desert to collect water, but even so it hasn’t been used to the fullest. Nowadays, this lack of water hasn’t only reached a new level of severity, it is a problem that affects towns and villages of the area economically. The basic natural foods have a high cost for the tenants of this area, because of the lack of water.
On the other hand, the situation of the local fishermen, which is the source of income for many northern families, has lowered its profitability.

This will be achieved by intervening the surface of the algae through a pattern o millimeter perforations through the laser cutting machine, thus capturing the liquid through the holes and gravity, obtaining the hydration and nutrients necessary for the vegetation that is inside the collector. This solution will not only help to feed the tenants through biodegradable containers and cultivation of their own food, but also help to
revitalize the fishing economy of the area along with the highland desert flora.
A drilling matrix will be delivered to the locals, to carry out this project without using energy or digital fabrication techniques. Its capacity for recycling and resistance to impact is convenient for its use, since natural elements are taken to provide a solution to a problem that requires a quick and urgent response, such as water scarcity in this sector.
To make this project feasible, it is proposed to deliver the pattern designed as a template so the inhabitants can make their own collectors without the need to use digital manufacturing.


Regarding the economic aspect, the manufacture of this product does not imply a high investment cost, since we are using the collection of a natural material. The estimated production cost is approximately $25 USD.