Air conditioning is a big issue, not only for North Americans who may believe it is actually a human right, but also for developing nations: its use is exploding in India, China and even in Latin America, where families getting out of poverty see window-refrigerators as one of the first novelties to bring home when money allows.
What to do to at least slow down this energy-devouring trend? Turning the thing off in developed nations with alternative ways to beat the heat is a starter, and making these alternatives so cool that air conditioning stops being an aspirational item for the developing population should be the following step.
In this line of thinking, re-designing the fan is not a small thing, and it's encouraging to see a designer from below the Equator giving it a go.
The single tube leg is replaced with a beautiful, tall wooden tripod, which holds an iron frame taken to its minimal expression. Its metal blades are replaced with wooden ones and designed to make efficient use of air.
Although the whole ensemble is much larger than the regular fan and not very practical space-wise, its appearance is light and beautiful.
Gallegos says this is the first of a series of appliances he intends to recreate by challenging common forms and materials.
The designer is currently doing a MFA at the Rhode Island School of Design. More at his website.