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Algae Farm: algae / ecoMachines / responsive systemsNovember 5, 2010

Urban Algae Farm by ecoLogicStudio is a prototype which combines philosophy, biology, interaction design and architecture. Designed as part of ALPS 2010, the second biennale of the alpine region, this ecological and design machine has got as ‘primary’ material the landscape and the ecological systems of the Trento region (Trentino).

The installation allows researchers from the Museum of Science of Trento to monitor the development of the algae colonies populating the project. The complex system of incubation of the Machine for the Eco-Landscape collects samples of water which characterize the algal biodiversity of 10 lakes of the Trento region (Trentino).
The system requires CO2: people are invited to contribute to the good result of the project blowing air inside the various containers [bioreactors] and especially in the one in which the red led light on is signaling the necessity of CO2.

The collected results could give useful ecological information both regarding the algae object of study themselves then about their future application in the urban context. In the future this project beside being an interesting design experiment could function as bioreactor producing oxygen and biodiesel – useful for to the heating system and the control of the indoor microclimate.

The Experiment:
To reach the objective has been created the following experimental apparatus: from 10 lakes of the Trento region (Garda, Cavedine, Toblino, Santa Massenza, Terlago, Levico, Caldonazzo, Lamar, Serraia and Tovel) we have been collecting samples from three different zones: coast, center superficial water, center deep water. These samples have been inserted in the Machine for the Ecolandscape following the experimental approach here described:

-[controlled environment] 30 bioreactors containing water from the 10 lakes are connected to air provider able to trigger photosynthesis in a controlled manner.

-In 20 of the bioreactors containing water from the 10 lakes people will be able to interact, providing co2 and nutrients.

-In 20 of the bioreactors containing water from the 10 lakes people will be able to interact, providing co2. These bioreactors have an embedded system of sensors and LEDs connected to an arduino board. The system uses the intensity of LED lights to inform people about lack of co2 in the bioreactor.

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