Habitat One envisions the architecture of the carbon neutral city
Habitat One imagines a new architectural model of the carbon neutral city. The projects vision, invites people to experience the possibilities of living in a carbon neutral world through the featuring of three creations: two visionary Artificial Intelligence videos, a living photosynthetic 3D printed sculpture named Tree One, and the urban Bio Lab. Developed in collaboration with Hyundai Motor Company, the following project was exhibited on March 18th, 2023 and is located at the Hyundai Motorstudio Seoul, South Korea.
One of the Artificial Intelligence generated video is projected on the façade of the Hyundai Motorstudio. In its seemingly endless looping, the video simulates several scenarios envisioning the evolution of Seoul into a carbon neutral city. In a multi-layered cyclical process, the city grows through the re-metabolization of urban air pollution and the storing of CO2. High-density metropolitan clusters populated with sky-gardens, bio-buildings and eventually lush urban forests to evolve into new constructed landscapes.
Trees and buildings alternate, evolving from each other, following the circular model pioneered in the Tree One sculpture. This process is visualized in a second AI video, projected inside the foyer and facing Tree One. Each architectural cluster is depicted while growing from a bundle of photosynthetic systems that propel self-sufficiency and the transformation of pollutants into material resources.
At the heart of the main exhibition floor is Tree One, the living carbon capturing sculpture designed by artificial intelligence and bio-digitally grown. The sculpture re-metabolizes and stores the carbon molecules into it's trunk and canopy while releasing oxygen into the atmosphere. The Tree One exhibited at the Hyundai Motorstudio Seoul integrates 40 glass photobioreactors hosting 500 litres of living Cyanidium algae cultures. These bioreactors can capture as much carbon dioxide as 12 large trees, the equivalent of a small urban forest.
The main structure of Tree One is designed by algorithms whose recognition of arboreal systems negotiates the architectural logic of the column. The Tree One trunk is entirely made of algae-based biopolymers and its strength derives primarily from the unique pleated morphology inspired by the fibrous trunk of actual trees. It's fabrication was made possible by a pioneering robotic 3D printing process. The fibrous system continues in the large 3D printed canopy in the form of hundreds of thin shading branches hovering above the gallery floor, close to the mezzanine gallery.
The 40 photobioreactors, which are a physical extension of the root system of Tree One, are positioned based on a phyllotaxis pattern. These generated iterations connect to the roots of the Tree One following shortest-path-finding algorithms.
The Motorstudio`s gallery is occupied by the Bio Lab, showcasing the process of bio-digital synthesis of Tree One and of the carbon neutral city. Designed as an open laboratory, the Bio Lab presents the proprietary bio-design innovation that was developed to create Tree One. It is the educational component of the exhibition, attempting to inspire visitors by showing the tangible research and innovation that ecoLogicStudio is currently conducting. The aim is to make the sustainable design visions promoted by the exhibition a reality.
At the entrance of the Bio Lab is a PhotoSynthetica reactor wall that integrates a biomass harvesting system. This reactor wall is fed by nutrients from the Biosphere and pollutants from the Urbansphere. Visitors can then follow the steps of the bio-polymerization process, to observe a catalogue of biomaterial samples, several large scale 3D printed biodegradable products, prototypes and a didactic video on the synthesis of Tree One.
The Tree One computational methodology was further explored to develop stool furniture design. The morphologies were explored by critically designing the contours to derive a 3D form that can be morphed with parametric control over the geometry. A series of iterations were designed and 3D printed with four different materials to show the design gradation and materiality. The materials used were: natural algae, sage algae, non oilen and eco PLA.
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Bio Lab plan
The diagram of circularity becomes the Bio Lab space. From the photosynthetic processes of microalgae air elements are remetabolized into biomass. The material turned into a 3D printing filament which for the Habitat One project was used to create a version of biodegradable stools.
”Imagining a carbon neutral city implies the complete redefinition of all our production, construction and waste recycling processes. It is not enough to consider upgrading a contemporary city through application of new green technology, but we need to imagine and visualize new photosynthetic processes that will determine its future growth.”
— Claudia Pasquero, co-founder with Marco Poletto of ecoLogicStudio.