Biodesign Competition winners announced – algae takes center stage

October 5, 2016 by  
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When it comes to design, mother nature has a lot to teach us. The field of Biodesign has emerged as an exciting new discipline which integrates the best ideas from nature with the cutting edge of modern technology, fostering technological breakthroughs that could allow us to live better lives, more in harmony with our environment. We recently invited architects and designers from all across the world to submit their wildest visions for a Biodesigned future, and they delivered so much creativity and ingenuity that it was extremely difficult to narrow it all down to a short-list and then determine a winner. From algae structures, to aquaponic fish homes, to self-healing homes, we were thoroughly impressed by the entrants of our Biodesign Competition . And the winner is… GRAND PRIZE WINNER: Chlorella Oxygen Pavilion by Adam Miklosi Designer Adam Miklosi was inspired by the concept of symbiosis to create a futuristic oxygen bar called the Chlorella Pavillion which would allow tired people to enter, relax, and fill up on energizing, oxygen-rich air. Miklosi proposes piping living algae through the structure to create a swirling “algae fountain” throughout the exterior and interior of the space. Like all photosynthesizing organisms, algae naturally consumes CO2 and produces oxygen through respiration. Humans relaxing (and breathing) in the space would give the algae the CO2 it needs to survive, and, in turn, the algae would give Chlorella Pavilion visitors an extra oxygen boost. HEALING SPACES CATEGORY WINNER: Chlorella Oxygen Pavilion by Adam Miklosi The Chlorella Pavillon was the category winner for ‘Healing Spaces’ in addition to being selected by the judges as the Grand Prize Winner. Designer Adam Miklosi’s algae pavilions are built with molded beech wood and covered with a semi-transparent isolating film. Each pavilion is designed to live and breath interdependently with humans using photosynthesis – exhaled carbon dioxide and fresh oxygen mixes in the central algae fountain. The algae-filled water then circulates in tubes spiraling around the structure that soak up sunlight. Each pavilion is meant to be a “temple of relaxation” in a hectic urban environment. HOUSING CATEGORY WINNER: Self Healing House by Edwin Indera Waskita Designer Edwin Indera Waskita’s Self-Healing House explores the value of social sustainability by fostering communities in which humans, animals, plants, and the environment benefit from a mutual symbiosis. The proposal transforms marginalized city spaces into dynamic and productive zones (like urban farms ) to ensure positive and sustainable social growth. The Self-Healing House relies on community participation to improve both the quality of life of inhabitants and ecological balance, and it benefits residents through improved resource distribution. The Self-Healing House is wrapped in an “ecological skin” of mosses and plants which provide a source of food and water for birds. In exchange, by depositing new seeds and plant life, birds will encourage new growth of the skin. HONORABLE MENTIONS: Aquaponic Future Housing by Mihai Chiriac: Aquaponic Future Houses are 3-story homes made out of 3D-printed biodegradable vegetable-based bioplastic , housing living plants and fish in a closed-loop system, where the plants feed the fish, the fish feed the plants, plants produce oxygen for the home’s inhabitants and the fish produce food. In order to create a more sustainable environment, the building uses built-in hydroponics and aquaculture for growing food at home. The home is intended for neglected urban spaces to help urban dwellers live a greener, healthier life. Jellyfish Lodge by Janine Hung: The Jellyfish Lodge proposes to rehabilitate the world’s most polluted river slums by removing waste , treating water, growing food, and purifying air all through solar power. The structure’s jellyfish-inspired tentacles will remove garbage from the water while testing water toxicity levels, and microbial digestion chambers within the design will break down harmful microorganisms before returning treated water to the river. An aquaponics system would produce food for nearby residents. Oculus emergency shelter by Chalmers University of Technology: Oculus is a prototype for a rapidly deployable shelter inspired by the Beehive house – a traditional Syrian dwelling with bionic geometry. With a focus on material efficiency, the Oculus is a small den-style single-family unit made of expanded polystyrene (EPS). The dwelling consists of 29 rings set inside each other to form a stepping shell structure. The prototype was developed by 4 students at Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden focusing on material efficiency, off-site manufacturing and low-tech assembly. It was developed as a case study through work with the Al-Zataari camp in Jordan. Algaevator urban revitalization by Jie Zhang: The Algaevator inserts an algae farm into a weather-tight, transparent and lightweight roofing system that can be used in abandoned buildings to help revitalize urban environments. The algae can be used for various applications in consumer products and alternative fuels. The Algaevator’s funnel shape optimizes sun exposure for algae production and can also harvest rainwater for additional sustainability. Hybrid Fibrous Morphologies by Ruxandra Gruioniu: Ruxandra Gruioniu’s Hybrid Fibrous Morphologies project seeks to create a new bio-integrative material system out of fungus. Gruioniu experimented with fusing living and non-living matter to develop a cost and energy-efficient architectural solution that resembles the biological model. Fungus is a very simple multicellular microorganism consisting of numerous filaments (hyphae) that have the ability to branch out and reconnect with each other to form a biological transport network over a manmade structure, such as a metal lattice. Urban Pure BioTower Dennis Dollens: Urban Pure: BioTowers are environmentally-friendly buildings for housing, schools, or offices. The design for the towers was inspired by the shape of plants and trees to support healthy living. Enhanced using synthetic biology, AI, and biorobotics, BioTowers “eat” air pollution while contributing energy and green spaces to modern cities. + Inhabitat Biodesign Competition

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Biodesign Competition winners announced – algae takes center stage

Autonomous robotic garden can drive itself around the city in search of sun

October 5, 2016 by  
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https://vimeo.com/163436492 Designed by UCL students William Victor Camilleri and Danilo Sampaio under the supervision of the Interactive Architecture Lab’s director Ruairi Glynn, Hortum machina, B draws inspiration from Buckminster Fuller’s landmark book ‘Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth’ and his geodesic domes . The mobile ecosystem uses a network of electrodes to monitor the garden’s physiological responses to the environment and then, using this data, propels the sphere into motion. For example, if the plants at the bottom of the sphere lack direct light, the individual panels begin to shift until those plants are sufficiently lit. The robotic core can also move the sphere to a new location if the garden requires shade or if air pollution levels are unhealthy. Related: ON/OFF’s BOULEvard tensegrity ball is a mobile playground in Brussels “With all the discussion of ‘“smart-buildings’” and ‘“smart-cities’” focused on human needs, and the arrival of driverless cars, drones and many other forms of intelligent robotics starting to co-habit our built environment, Hortum machina, B is a speculation upon new opportunities for bio-cooperative interaction between nature, technology and people, within the city landscape,” write the designers. “A growing body of research has revealed electrochemical mechanisms in plants analogous to those found in the animal nervous system. By networking and amplifying plant electrophysiology, [we] believe it opens the doors to giving nature a say in how we design and manage cities better in the future.” Hortum machina, B was tested in London. All plants in the garden are native to Greater London and the machine is powered by an attached solar panel. The unit also has built-in water storage. The experimental project was seen as a way to expand the reach of London’s green space to new terrain. + Hortum machina, B Images via Hortum machina, B

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Autonomous robotic garden can drive itself around the city in search of sun

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