Urban Fog Collector System

Master’s degree at University of Camerino | Master’s Project Degree |  Ascoli Piceno, Italy | April 2012
Supervisors: Arch. Prof. Cristiano Toraldo di Francia (UNICAM, IT), and Prof. Jonathan Reich (Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, US)

Analysis of the problem

California has the world’s largest and most productive water system,  but at the same time, it is one of the droughts countries of US. On the other hand, California has a hidden potential not yet well considerate, fog.



The ideal climate for setting up a fog collector can be found especially in low-lying locations thanks to the high level of humidity, the constancy of local winds, cold ocean currents, the trade inversions, and the trade winds. We can find all of this conditions on the Californian coast. Furthermore, in California water system faces a crisis. For the first time in the state’s history, the water supply and delivery system may not be able to meet the growing needs. At the same time, the capital environmental resources are perishing. Considering the aging infrastructure, the population growth and finally the climate change, we face complex issues threatening the future of the Californian population, economy, and environment.

My project started with the research and collection of all the already existing mechanisms and structures catching moisture, I redraw some of them to better understand their operation.

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During the research, I was bio-inspired from the fog collection of Namibia’s beetles and from the spider’s web.


Problem solving and concept

Urban Fog Collector System (UFC System) is an atmospheric water generator able to increase the production of water by collecting moisture from fog and using it for domestic purposes.


The system is characterized by the mesh, that differently from today’s one (mostly used in Chile in some area of Africa) has a fluid dynamic shape to allow a better descent of the collected water, moreover having a special texture bio-inspired by the back of Namibia beetles. In addition, the mesh is in Derbipure®, a waterproof bioplastic, to make water flow down fast without absorbing it.

Overview of the Urban Fog Collectors System.UFCS-explodedmesh-texture
The structure of the frame is in recycled aluminum and thanks to a small motor the structure is able to perform a rotation of 90°. When the frame is perpendicular to the ground (at night), the collector is ready to collect the water from fog and dew. When it is parallel to the ground (during the day), the structure protects the house from Californian heat shadowing it. One or more collectors can be placed on the roof of one house. The water collected from the collectors is filtered by a pump/filter and then directed to the tank.

The system is also provided by an innovative water tank. In UFCS the tank is no longer an object to be hidden behind the house or underground, but it becomes a showable tank. UFCS Tank can be used in the garden as a chaise-longue or table, thanks to its unique form that works in modules. The tanks is made of recyclable plastic.


Tanica in 3D


taniche moduli-01



Urban Fog Collector System book.

Mappe publication 1 Mappe publication 2 Mappe publication 3

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