Photo.Synth.Etica by ecoLogic Studio

PHOTOS:

Naaro

YEAR:

2018

In this architectural installation of ecoLogic Studio, the building’s facade system becomes a means of purifying the air and measuring the health of our city.

ecoLogic Studio – Photo.Synth.Etica – 2018 – Photo: NAARO

Can you tell us something about the 2018 Photo.Synth.Etica project?

I’ll begin with a premise. We have been working with microalgae since 2006 and were the first to introduce these organisms into architectural systems. The algae change shades of green depending on the amount of oxygen they produce, so by working on the colour spectrum we can make measurements and obtain diagrams. What we have is therefore a bio-computational system that purifies the air and at the same time provides us with data on its state. It must be said that the same increase in algae growth is a consequence of climate change, this develops on bodies of water and suffocates the underlying flora and fauna, destabilising the sea’s equilibrium. From this premise we have begun to think about integrating algae with buildings because feeding on co2, which as we know is harmful to humans, to find a site for these organisms, which would be advantageous for humans, to create a new balance in the ecosystem. Over the years we have developed two product lines. One more sculptural like that of H.O.R.T.U.S and the other like Photo.Synth.Etica, which we can imagine as an architectural skin.

ecoLogic Studio – Photo.Synth.Etica – 2018 – Photo: NAARO

Looking at Photo.Synth.Etica, the algae are green, but what is the transparent wrapper?

It’s bioplastic. From the material derived from the production of maize, a starch is obtained which allows us to produce a completely biological plastic. It must be said that even oil has a completely organic origin, the problem of its derivatives is that it takes a lot of energy to recycle them, and they do not decompose in the sea. In Photo.Synth.Etica while the structure of the building is designed as permanent, the skin, composed of algae and bioplastic is made of cheap materials that will be consumed within about four years and can be replaced with new and similar ones.

ecoLogic Studio – Photo.Synth.Etica – 2018 – Photo: NAARO

So the building is destined to alter over time?

Yes, often in architecture it is taken for granted that all the components of the building must have a very long life, for us this concept could also be outmoded and in any case not binding.

I was imagining filamentous algae, instead these seem different…

If we look closely at Photo.Synth.Etica there are various types of algae that have different colours. The algae we use are microalgae, so they are bacteria and compared to what you mentioned, are much more efficient.

So the collection method will also be specific…

Yes, spirulina is collected with a sieve, whilst chlorella has much smaller bacteria size and a centrifuge is needed for its extraction.

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