“The Bedouin tent, for example, shows how simple and elegant-how suited to locale-good design can be. On the move in their migratory rounds, the Bedouins needed shelter that was both portable and reliable in a variety of conditions. On the plains of the Sinai, temperatures often rise above 120 degrees fahrenheit. There is neither shade nor breeze. But the black Bedouin tent of coarsely woven goat hair provides a breathing membrane. The black surface creates a deep shade while the coarse weave diffuses the sunlight, creating a beautifully illuminated interior. As the sun heats the dark fabric, hot air rises above the tent and air from inside is drawn out, in effect creating a cooling breeze. When it rains-as even in the desert it sometimes does-the woven fibers swell, the tiny holes in the fabric close, and the structure becomes tight. The tent is lightweight and portable and can be easily repaired; the fabric factory-the goats-followed the Bedouins around, providing valuable wool while transforming the botany of the desert into horn, skins, meat, milk, butter, and cheese. When the tent wears out, it can be composted, returning nutrients to the precious soil of a river valley oasis. This ingenious design, locally relevant and culturally rich, makes the desert skyscraper’s stark separation from local material and energy flows look downright primitive.”- William McDonough & Michael Braungart
To continue reading this great essay about the need for harmony between design, landscape and ecology visit www.mcdonough.com.
Below is an example of the goat hair textile.
Around 2005 Nike designed the Air Presto Foot Tent, but unfortunately stopped short of applying the Bedouin clima-technology.