We spent yesterday and today at the Venice Biennale (both the Giardini and the Arsenale). I really enjoyed it and I’m glad that I was finally able to attend. One of my favorite exhibits was Bahrain’s. It is called “Sweating Assets”, and it’s a demonstration of how air conditioning condensate might be harnessed from the country’s significant cooling infrastructure.
Here’s a video of it in action:
In the middle of the exhibit is a big glass box. This is meant to represent a ubiquitous conditioned space. And as the humid Venice air hits this glass box, condensation is created. This water is then channeled to various soil deposits, where greenery is already starting to grow. And presumably it will continue to grow over the life of the exhibit.
They were careful not to come across as encouraging excessive air conditioning. This was not the point. Instead, the message was: Air conditioning is already an omnipresent necessity in the country, and here is how something that is mostly ignored today — AC condensate — could be turned into a meaningful asset.
I thought it was clever. And they also gave out a nice book for free.