Do you know what a windtower is?You would if you had lived in older Dubai, or if you work at Stanford’s Department of Global Ecology. Ina segment on PRI last year, Alex Gallafentsummarized the concept:  

“The concept is simple. The windtower is a four-sided structure, with openings on all sides and a small roof at the top. It's designed to capture the wind from whichever direction it's blowing. The tower's inside space is partitioned all the way down so that air can flow in different directions. So - the wind blows and is scooped into one side of the tower. A pressure differential is created. The cool air is sucked in on one side and the warm air is sucked out on the other. And that cools the space below. Sometimes dramatically so.”  

The full transcription of the article is worth a few minutes, to learn more about how the windtower works, what climates are appropriate, how the Stanford designers modified it for their own contemporary use, and how why it’s also ideal for the laziest of eavesdroppers.