Tree.One, The architecture of the carbon neutral city, 2023
Tree.One is a pioneering exhibition, unveiled at the Chengdu Biennale 2023, where art and science converge to redefine design paradigms. Within this immersive installation, ecoLogicStudio showcases a visionary sculpture, transcending traditional artistic boundaries. Visitors engaged with ecoLogicStudio’s exploration on biomaterials that captivate the senses but also facilitate carbon capture, harnessing the power of art for environmental benefits. This scientific and artistic journey, as illuminates the potential of sustainable design, catalyses meaningful discussions about the intricate interplay between creativity and ecological consciousness.
Cities are the driving force behind the world as we know it. Our lives are reflected in and shaped by cities. The infrastructure of the Urbansphere, which represents the peak of human civilization, has granted us great opportunities to improve and enrich our civilization. Still, as many people flock to limited spaces, cities have gradually turned into the world’s biggest “carbon emitters”.
This installation, conceived and produced by ecoLogicStudio and commissioned by Hyundai Motor Company, envisions a future city that evolves into our primary interface with Nature and the living world. In this proposal, Bio-engineered metropolitan clusters host photosynthetic systems of living micro-algae cultures and convert carbon dioxide into bio-material resources and nutritious aliments.
The exhibition space features the sculptural centrepiece “Tree.One”, a robotically “grown” living artwork,the BioWall installation, illustrating the pioneering innovation behind the bio-digital synthesis of “Tree.One” and two AI generated videos of “Tree.One City”.
This captivating installation immerses visitors in its intricate details and innovative design. The sculpture's captivating components are meticulously arranged, inviting observers to engage with its artistic and functional significance. This curated space offers a unique opportunity for viewers to appreciate the fusion of art, technology, and environmental consciousness embodied by the "Tree.One" sculpture.
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Floor plan of the exhibition space
The sculptural centerpiece titled "Tree.One" is composed of three distinct components created through robotic printing: Roots, Trunk, and Canopy. The Tree.One installation serves as a carbon capture mechanism by utilizing the cultivation of liquid microalgae within four intricately designed bioreactors. These bioreactors are seamlessly integrated into the intricate venous structure of the Trunk component.
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Exploded view of Tree.One
The carefully designed aeration network ensures a seamless connection between the air source and the bioreactors. It captures and stores carbon dioxide daily while purifying urban air through Chlorella algae cultures. This system is elegantly integrated within the sculpture's aesthetic. The trunk's unique pleated morphology, inspired by the fibrous trunk of actual trees, serves artistically and functionally, providing support for 3D-printed components that secure and organize the aeration network. This union of form and function exemplifies the sculpture's synergy between art and utility.
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Tree One elevation with aeration system layout.
The designated BioWall offers an immersive exhibition of the bio-digital synthesis of Tree One and the vision of a carbon-neutral city. It begins with a visual representation detailing vital nutrients and salts essential for robust algal growth. The narrative then progresses into a vibrant portrayal of real-time algae cultivation within liquid photobioreactors. A captivating highlight includes a live demonstration illustrating the integration of air pollutants into algae cultivation, seamlessly integrating a biomass harvesting system. The BioWall serves as an educational journey, providing a comprehensive understanding of the bio-polymerization process, with observations of an assortment of biomaterial samples and small-scale 3D printed biodegradable prototypes, along with a didactic Tree One synthesis video.
Exhibited are biodigitally designed stool morphologies, 3D-printed using biomaterial filaments. These stools showcase innovative seating design potential, exemplifying biomaterial-infused 3D forms. Utilizing diverse biomaterial fillaments such as ecoPLA, non-oil-based, and algae-based, the stools highlight sustainable production. Beneath the shelf, an array of bioplastic material samples and algae powder samples are displayed, further expanding the idea of biomaterial ingredients pallet.
Upon entering the exhibition space, the initial AI-generated video showcases a range of scenarios, envisioning the metamorphosis of a metropolitan city into a carbon-neutral urban nucleus. Through an unending loop, the video unveils a complex, cyclic process wherein the city prospers through the re-metabolization of urban air pollution and efficient CO2 storage. This evolutionary journey gives birth to high-density metropolitan clusters adorned with sky-gardens, bio-buildings, and urban forests.Inspired by the Tree One sculpture's circular model, this cyclic growth features a dynamic interplay between alternating trees and buildings.
This progression finds further representation in a second AI video projected onto Wall Two, positioned squarely in the view of Tree One. Each architectural cluster emerges from a web of photosynthetic systems, fostering self-sufficiency and transforming pollutants into valuable material resources. This revolutionary presentation seamlessly fuses art and technology, conjuring a vision of a sustainable urban metamorphosis.
The Chengdu Biennale exhibition stands as a remarkable journey of innovation and artistic exploration, captivating a daily audience of over 10,000 visitors. The transformative impact of ecoLogicStudio's installations, spanning from the immersive "Bio Wall" to the visionary "Tree.One" sculpture, resonates deeply as it harmonizes art, technology, and sustainability. This exhibition not only engages the senses but also nurtures vital dialogues concerning our environment, design ethics, and the artistic means of carbon capture. Additionally, the event underscores the vast fabrication possibilities born from the fusion of advanced technology and bio-design expertise. This union unlocks new horizons, extending to applications like large-scale architectural prototyping. The exhibition sparks conversations about innovation, sustainability, and the boundless potential where art and technology converge.