My following article below was originally published by SERIOUS WONDER:
What do you get when you combine architecture with micro-algae and digital control systems? If ecoLogicStudio has anything to say about it, you get the future of interactive Algaetecture! What is currently dubbed the Urban Algae Canopy, the micro-algae inside allows visitors to essentially influence the building’s behavior in real-time, which includes its color, growth, and level of transparency.
The design is made up of Ethylene tetrafluoroethylene, which makes it highly durable in resistance and strength to a wide range of temperatures. Thanks to computer numerical control (CNC) welding technology, the building’s morphology can be easily altered, as can be the behavior of the water as it courses through, providing the necessary nutrients for the living algae inside.
“It is now time to overcome the segregation between technology and nature typical of the mechanical age, to embrace a systemic understanding of architecture. In this prototype the boundaries between the material, spatial and technological dimensions have been carefully articulated to achieve efficiency, resilience and beauty.” – Claudia Pasquero of ecoLogicStudio
The canopy isn’t complete yet, however. Its goal of completion is by next year, just in time for the Expo Milano 2015 Future Food District event, which is being curated by international design firm Carlo Ratti Associati. By that time it is estimated that the Urban Algae Canopy will then be producing oxygen that is equivalent to nearly 4 hectares (10 acres) of woodland and 150kg of biomass per day.