Today Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum announced that the WEDEW (Wood to Energy Deployable Emergency Water) invented by architect David Hertz (SCI-Arc, Class of 1980) has received the prestigious 2022 National Design Award for Climate Action.  The WEDEW creates water from air by using biomass from regenerative agroforestry systems and other sources, to provide clean water, renewable energy and refrigerant free cold storage. Contained in a rapidly deployable containerized form, the process sequesters atmospheric carbon into a useful soil enhancement for a cascade of benefits to people and planet. Reflecting principles from the virtuous cycle of nature, the technologies of biomass gasification and water generation and adsorption refrigeration are co-located and engineered into a performative symbiosis, an elemental solution in which earth + fire + air = water.

Upon the announcement, David Hertz said: “Having worked for over 40 years as an Architect to lessen the impacts on the natural environment from that of the built environment, I am honored to be a recipient of such a prestigious award and especially for Climate Action for the WEDEW. I designed the WEDEW as a community-based climate resilience hub, engineered to provide essential resources for distributed renewable energy and point of use atmospheric water and cooling solutions for communities most affected by climate change.” 

David is a remarkable person and we highly recommend you check him out on AppleTV+'s Home series. David and his wife, Laura Doss-Hertz are featured in Episode 8 of the first season. The WEDEW is also featured in the episode and it is an amazing invention.  

About David Hertz F.A.I.A Architect David Hertz has been working at the edge of sustainability and the forefront of regenerative architecture for over 40 years. David was elected to the American Institute of Architects College of Fellows as the youngest member in its 162-year history. As a systems thinker, David engages in a multi-disciplinary approach through design and believes in expanding the conceptual limits of architecture and technology. Throughout his career, David has connected the art of building with responsible stewardship of the Earth. A founding LEED accredited professional, he serves on the board of Heal the Bay, recently provided funding for the NRDC’s center for Environmental Justice and Equity and is involved in other environmental and social nonprofits. David taught sustainable design and mentored students at his alma mater, SCI-Arc, for which he was recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award. He has lectured and taught at Art Center College of Design, UCLA, USC and Yale. David’s work has been widely exhibited and published internationally. He and his wife Laura Doss founded Skysource to democratize water, and their efforts culminated in winning the Water Abundance XPRIZE with the WEDEW in 2018 and a TIME Best Invention in 2020. Through his work at his S.E.A. Studio of Environmental Architecture, David strives to lessen the built environment's impacts on the natural world and has focused on making communities more resilient through design. In 2022 David co-founded the Resilience Foundation a 501c3 non-profit and is founder and general partner of the Resilience Fund for Advancing Climate Technologies.