(collaborative design laboratory)
Windstalk starts out as a desire,
a whisper, like grasping at
straws, clenching water.
It takes clues from the way the
wind sways a field of wheat, or
reeds in a marsh.
consists of 1203
the ground with
between 10 to
20 meters in
stalks are made
of carbon fiber
poles, 30 cm in
diameter at the
base and 5 cm
at the top.
The top 50 cm of each pole is lit up by an LED
lamp that glows and dims depending on how
much the poles are swaying in the wind.
When there is no wind–when the poles are still–the lights go dark.
The bases that
support the poles
are laid along the
site following a
the kind we see
in the center of a
The bases all
touch each other,
forming a kind of
carpet, a kind of
The bases are shaped like vortices–no two vortices are identical–when it rains, the rain
water slides down the slopes of the bases to collect in the spaces between,
concentrating scarce water. Here, plants can grow wild.
Within each hollow pole is a stack of piezoelectric ceramic rods. Between the rods are electrodes. Every other
electrode is connected to each other by a cable that reaches from top to bottom of each pole. One cable
connects the even electrodes, and another cable connects the odd ones. When the wind sways the poles, the
stack of piezoelectric rods is forced into compression, thus generating a current through the electrodes.
is the electric charge
that accumulates in
biological matter such
as bone, DNA and
response to applied
Within each concrete base is a hollow chamber
that houses a torque generator.
The generator converts the kinetic energy of the
swaying poles into electrical energy by way of an
array of current-generating shock absorbers.
The shock absorbers convert energy produced
by the forced movement of fluid through the
shock absorber’s cylinders.
The electricity that Windstalk generates
isn’t constant, it depends on the wind.
To compensate, we make a kind of battery,
a capacitor, a way to store energy:
Below the field of poles are two very large chambers, chambers as large
as the whole site. The chambers are shaped like the bases of the poles
but inverted, then inverted again, and again and once more.
There’s an upper chamber and a lower one beneath. When the wind
blows, part of the electricity generated powers a set of pumps, the pumps
move water from the lower chamber to the upper one. When the air is
still–when there is no wind–the water from the upper chamber flows down
again turning the pumps into generators.