Understanding and exploiting the properties of a given material is key in good design. Several older practices understood this and made use of the innate properties of basic materials like soil, metals and wood. This project seeks at achieving a viable solution for cooling hot and dry areas by exploring traditional Indian cooling practices and exploiting the innate properties of earthenware to increase the efficiency of a typical desert cooler.
India experiences hot summers between May and July. Traditionally, households in northern India store water in earthen pots or ‘matkas’ to cool the water. Matkas use the principle of evaporative cooling to passively cool the water in dry areas, thus making it a viable, simple and an effective water cooler. A growing awareness and appreciation of traditional practices is being seen across design disciplines which include sensitivity to materials and their innate properties. The market too is becoming smarter and expecting more ecological and telluric products while accommodating a simple aesthetic. Desert coolers are a preferred cooling appliance as opposed to other cooling mediums. They are typically used in hot and dry areas like Northern and Central India and use water and wood-wool as cooling agents. These are also seen to be used in households that would rather choose an alternative to an air-conditioner without compromising on the effectiveness. This design has been conceived keeping in mind a user who has a sensitivity to design, appreciates simplicity in forms and understands the significance of using earthenware in the product. It aims at finding a more effective means of cooling for hot and dry areas using traditional Indian practices.
Credit – Aryaman Jacob – Class of 2018