New Tech Research / Heather Weyda

aero – water harvester

Created by the UMEÅ Institute of Design // Susanne Duswald and Janis Beinerts in collaboration with Husqvarna Group and Gardena

It is predicted that by 2030 there will be a shortage of water due to urbanization, population growth, and increase of demand for energy and food production. This will make things such as personal and community farming a luxury activity that is too expensive for the average citizen. In order to save urban farming it is necessary for people to be able to collect a cheap source of water in order for these gardeners to take care of their plants. This is where Aero comes in.

Aero is a water harvester that takes water molecules from the air using polymer coated cotton membranes. Aero can harvest up to 200 liters of water a day. This device is complete powered by solar energy and can have smart dosing feeders connected in order to automate the plant watering process and to reduce overwatering and wasting of the resource. While Aero is meant mostly for community use, there is also the Aero mini for smaller, more personal use.

While I do find this to be an interesting concept I can’t help but wonder about the effect that this may play on the environment and if it would only make the situation worse. I worry about the idea of quite literally squeezing the resource out of the air, especially if there is such a high demand to do so. It also begs the question if there is higher demand and increase of price for water then will produce prices also rise and become a luxury causing people to turn to personal farming? It would be interesting to see how much a device like this would cost as well and if this device itself would be a luxury product. If it were to be listed in a higher price range then I feel as though it would only be helping the people who could already afford the luxury of personal gardening. Also, could this concept be used for other applications such as drinking water? I feel as though this idea and technology has many potential uses and can prove to be beneficial to society, provided that proper research about its impact on the water supply and the environment has been conducted.


The Process of Making Aero – This goes into the research and design process

The Final Project