Urban Coolspot Project

DESIGN: Julia Sulikowska



make me! 2022

1st place make me! Design Award and a cash prize of PLN 10.000

A special prize funded by the festival’s partner INTERPRINT in the amount of PLN 10.000

Special prize funded by the festival partner Cosentino in the amount of PLN 10.000


Inspired by traditional Egyptian and Middle Eastern evaporative cooling inventions, the Urban Coolspot project explores the potential for using ceramics in urban environments to create cool microclimate. This addresses a problem that arises from weatherproofing the landscape for the construction of urban infrastructure. During rainfalls water is discharged through many channels and disappears into the sewer system as quickly as possible. The result is reduced evaporation during hot, dry days. This contributes to the urban heat island phenomenon, i.e. prolonged overheating of cities during the summer months.


“Urban Coolspot” is a modular system that traps runoff water, absorbs it due to its porous structure and distributes it in a capillary manner throughout the volume of the building. On hot summer days, the gradual evaporation cools the warm ambient air, and the wind carries it across the heated urban landscape, thus improving the thermal comfort of residents.


The system consists of 30- and 40-cm long cylindrical elements. The multitude of connecting elements makes it possible to assemble them in various combinations. To enable the best possible water flow from module to module, additional vertical pores as well as plant roots support capillary attraction and the soil inside the ceramic elements provides structural continuity. The individual elements can be connected by metal rods.


The installation is designed as an adaptive measure for existing infrastructure that does not require costly reconstruction or energy supply. It is a solution to maintain a friendly microclimate of backyards, small public squares or streets. The project can be implemented in public space as a temporary or permanent landscaping element. With the support of local authorities, residents and institutions can impact their immediate surroundings.

Urban Coolspot Project, design: Julia Sulikowska / from designer’s archive

Urban Coolspot Project, design: Julia Sulikowska / from designer’s archive

Urban Coolspot Project, design: Julia Sulikowska / from designer’s archive

Urban Coolspot Project, design: Julia Sulikowska / from designer’s archive


A graduate of the Faculty of Design at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw. She received a scholarship to continue her education in Germany and completed her Master’s degree at the Weißensee Art School in Berlin. Professionally, she designs in the context of urban space. She works at the Berlin Urban Design Office, where she is responsible for designing 2D and 3D products, small exhibitions and co-creating urban participatory events. One of her projects, which consisted in creating a climate analysis for a selected Berlin district and proposing local adaptation measures in relation to intensifying climatic conditions, inspired the “Urban Coolspot” project.