When water and heat meet, evaporation occurs, bringing down ambient temperature while also producing humidity. People have been fashioning natural, passive humidifiers and air cooling solutions for ages utilizing this knowledge of capillary action to keep spaces cooler without electricity, but perhaps never so beautifully as French product designer Maxime Louis-Courcier with his Paper Clay Air-Humidifier.
The beauty of Courcier’s design is its simplicity, one drawing upon existing knowledge about capillary action and evaporation. By applying an innovative new composite material formulated in collaboration with a ceramist and a fluid mechanics engineer, Courcier’s Paper Clay Air-Humidifier is optimized to absorb water faster and diffuse liquid more efficiently into ambient humidity.
The humidifier’s wavy form isn’t merely an aesthetic choice, but adds a significant amount of surface to aid in evaporation without requiring a large amount of space. That it also looks beautiful is a bonus of its functional worth.
Maxime Louis-Courcier has applied similar research and efforts with a low-tech version of an electric air conditioner using woven tubes to tap into the natural effects of thermal absorption to cool interior spaces, making a strong argument in both efforts for revisiting ancient technologies to address modern day challenges for sustainable living.