Water Capture


Location: USA

Inspiration: Honeycomb, Mycelium, Spiders 

Creator: nexLoop

Status: Prototyped

Function: Water capture


Organism strategy: Form – Honeycombs are considered the most space-efficient structures and provide optimal structural strength.

Process –  Spider webs can collect water from humid air due to alternating threads that differ in thickness. Ice plant leaves are covered in bladder cells, which act like small water reservoirs.

Mycelium networks act like sponges, absorbing water and transporting it to areas with a lower water volume.

Design strategy: Aqua Web consists of modular, hexagon-shaped structures. Once assembled, the design captures, stores, and distributes water that can be used for local food production. It makes use of natural water sources, such as rain, fog, and dew.


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Visual by nexloop

Indus Tiles

Location: University College London & India

Inspiration: Vein system of leaves

Creator: Shneel Malik

Status: Prototyped

Function: Water capture


Organism strategy: Similar to our blood vessels and branched trees, vein systems in leaves display a dense network of interconnected loops. This system allows for optimal flow and rapid responses to acute damage.

Design strategy:  Indus tiles consist of two complementary systems: (1) the hydrogel containing micro-algae that purify wastewater, and (2) the surface inspired by veins on a leaf, allowing for optimal wastewater distribution. As wastewater flows down the wall it is purified by the micro-algae that isolate heavy metals and contaminants. Each modular tile unit is attached to the next through half-lap joints, and so can be individually removed without taking apart the entire system.


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Warka Tower

Location: Cameroon 

Creator:  Arturo Vittori

Status: Built

Inspiration: Namib desert Beetle

Function: Water capture


Organism strategy: Micro-sized grooves or bumps on the beetle’s hardened forewings help accumulate and direct water toward the beetle’s mouth. To enhance this process, hydrophilic and hydrophobic areas are present on its forewings, ensuring great water-harvesting efficiency. 

Design strategy: Warka Tower was designed to harvest water from the atmosphere, providing an alternative water source for rural populations that face challenges accessing drinkable water.

The passive structure functions solely by the presence of natural phenomena such as gravity, condensation & evaporation. 


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Visual by Arturo Vittori

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