How do you cool billions of people on a warming planet?


With the rise in climate change, heatwaves have grown particularly intense in the past decade, killing thousands of people.

Refresh is a zero electricity air cooler designed to function both outdoors and indoors. It is made up of terracotta, a porous and cost-effective material. Refresh is a little step that aims to make a difference in preserving energy, while still providing relief from the heat.


Industrial Design / Service Design 

16 weeks


refresh design concept-01.png

The terracotta brick helps cool spaces through evaporative cooling and the Venturi Effect, the change in pressure results in an increase in air velocity providing a cooling effect.


Once the concept and design were finalized, I slab rolled terracotta. Paper templates were used to help cut accurate sizes for each face of the brick. The pieces were then assembled through the slip and score technique.

Refresh pages 10.jpg
Refresh pages 10 copy.jpg
Refresh pages 10 copy 2.jpg

The brick contained water and was tested in an outdoor space with a temperature of 60.8°F and a wind speed of 6 mph. The temperature dropped by about 0.4°F when brought close to the brick. After 15 minutes, the temperature dropped by 2.16°F near the smaller conical opening. 

Refresh pages 11.jpg

bricks can be installed within homes as an alternative to electrical air coolers. According to standard-sized vents, the bricks would be stacked up in three using a lego joinery system. This ensures structural support and allows the water to fill in each of the bricks.

Refresh pages 14.jpg

In an outdoor setting, Refresh must be supported with solid bricks at the bottom quarter to ensure that the structure can hold up the weight. Another way would be by creating a skeletal framework. The following is an example of how the bricks would be slotted in horizontal cedar wood planes and vertical tension strings.

Refresh pages 15.jpg

The success of this project motivates me to continue working on it. My goal is to implement this design for low-income housing projects in the northern parts of India. This project was a part of a pop-up exhibition at Parsons School of Design for which I managed social media and branding.
Click here to learn more.