In response to increasing water scarcity both globally and in South Africa, the Dew/Fog Catcher has been designed with the potential to constitute both a functioning system of water catchment and a conceptual investigation into human relationships with vital natural resources.
An initial design of the Dew/Fog Catcher was created for the Design Indaba 2017. Drawing on existing dew/fog catcher designs, the Dew Catcher works by being placed as high as possible, above sea-level. Condensation is collected on the fabric, which then drips into the collection tray or pot below. This water is then funneled into and stored within a closed tank for future use.
The shape of the Dew/Fog Catcher was designed specifically for its site and mimics the natural curves of the valley surrounding it. The curves also tell of the metrological nature of how fog can be created, by air moving up a slope and condensation forming, due to adiabatic cooling.
In this version of the Dew/Fog Catcher, the copper thread embroidery on the fabric is a visualisation of a sound wave produced by recording dripping water. Copper is a trace mineral found in all body tissue and, alchemically speaking, is associated with healing. While it has practical applications that are not insignificant, the Dew/Fog Catcher is also a conceptual attempt to capture that which is ephemeral and fleeting. The work is intended to encourage reflection on the interrelatedness of political, social and natural events, which together affect human (ab)use of natural resources and call for sustainable solutions to environmental disequilibrium.
Copper has a rapid and broad spectrum antimicrobial efficacy against some of the most toxic species of bacteria, fungi and viruses. The use of copper wire and guttering on the Dew Catcher gives the water some of these microbial properties. The water can then be used on the herbs and vegetables to this effect and minimizes the need for the use of chemicals.
Peter Templeton and Juan Snyman (Goedgedacht) - consultation and advice
Mandy Morton - coordinator and landscape designer
Aidan Morton and Tokara team - management and oversight of installation
Brendon Clack and Martin Wilson (Hylography) - artistic and engineering design of prototype