Generating as much oxygen per day as 400,000 square feet of natural woodland, the Urban Algae Canopy combines architecture, biology and digital technology to create a structure that responds to and enhances its environment.
Created by EcoLogics Studio, this “world’s first bio-digital canopy integrates micro-algal cultures and real time digital cultivation protocols on a unique architectural system,” with flows of water and energy regulated by weather patterns and visitor usage. Sun increases photosynthesis, for example, causing the structure to generate organic shade in realtime. The canopy as a whole can produce over 300 pounds of biomass daily.
A hybrid of architectural and ecosystem design, the canopy is made to adapt its features based on manual as well as environmental inputs, letting users exert control (via a digital interface) within a larger dynamic system. “This process is driven by the biology of mico-algae is inherently responsive and adaptive; visitors will benefit from this natural shading property while being able to influence it in real-time.”
For EcoLogics, this is just the beginning of a larger vision – organic systems tied to high-tech ones in current and future buildings and infrastructure, as well as a breakdown of the differentiation between urban and rural, cities and nature. Integrating organic and artificial systems opens up sustainable possibilities for everything from temperature control to power generation.
More from its creators: “In ecoLogicStudio we believe that 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.”
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