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Urban Algae Canopy produces a forest's worth of oxygen

By Ryan Hite     Jun 14, 2014 in Environment
London - A London based architecture firm is combining algae with their buildings to produce more oxygen. It is a combination of architecture, biology, and technology that will be unveiled at Expo 2015.
Biology and architecture are coming together to create new and compelling forms and functions. Concepts like biomemetic architecture, responsive "genetic" architecture, and even "mycotecture" have been introduced before.
London-based firm ecoLogic Studio has experimented with the possibilities of algae before, combining dynamically changing inputs derived from real-time data. Their latest development is this fascinating Urban Algae Canopy Module which has bio-digitally activated, micro-algal cultivation that is responsive to environmental factors like weather changes, light patterns, and movements of those who will see it next year in Milan for the 2015 Expo.
The structure will be made with a customized ETFE cladding system that employs precise welding techniques. The canopy will change dynamically, thanks to sensors that will react to environmental variables to control the flow of water and carbon dioxide, which act as a growing agent for the algae.
"This full scale prototype is the first of its kind and a culmination of six years of research into how algal production could interact with technology, architecture, and feeding the planet with oxygen," Claudia Pasquero of ecoLogicStudio said.
"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," she said in a statement.
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