In the Anthropocene age, a non-anthropocentric mode of reasoning, and deploying cutting-edge technologies based on digital and biological intelligence, could be at the core of urban design and stimulate our collective sensibility to recognise patterns of reasoning across disciplines, materialities and technological regimes. As if in some way Bruno Latour’s Parliament of Things finally developed an operational commission on built environment cooperation, this is the statement animating the Photo.Synth.Etica project.
Photo.Synth.Etica, conceived by London-based architectural and urban design firm ecoLogicStudio in a partnered consortium with Urban Morphogenesis Lab – UCL and Synthetic Landscapes Lab – University of Innsbruck, has been presented in Dublin during the week of Climate Innovation Summit 2018. An “urban curtain”, it captures CO2 from the atmosphere and stores it in real-time: approximately one kilo of CO2 per day, equivalent to that of 20 large trees.
Designed to be integrated into both existing and new buildings, it is composed of 16,2 x 7 metre modules, each one functioning as a photobioreactor — a digitally designed and custom made bioplastic container — using daylight to feed the living micro-algal cultures and releasing luminescent shades at night.
Unfiltered urban air is introduced at the bottom of the façade and air bubbles naturally rise through the watery medium within the bioplastic photobioreactors. CO2 molecules and air pollutants are captured and stored by the algae, and grow into reusable biomass. photosynthesized oxygen is then released from the top of each module.
Their serpentine design optimizes the carbon sequestration process, and contributes to ecoLogicStudio aim to symbolically embody a parallelism between the monetary carbon trading market and the transactions carried out by the molecules, as ecoLogicStudio’s founders say: “The message is one of spatial convergence and connectivity between the financial marketplace of cyberspace and the relative organic molecular transactions in the biosphere”.
To learn more visit www.photosynthetica.co.uk
A project by ecoLogicStudio: Marco Poletto and Claudia Pasquero (London, UK)
Design Team : Konstantinos Alexopoulos, Nico Aulitzky, Michael Brewster Shlok Soni, Robert Staples, Chrysi Vrantsi, Chia Wei Yang
Structural Engineering: Manja van de Worp
Bioplastic Supply and Manufacturing Support: James Woollard (Polythene, UK)
Microalgae Cultures Supply: Dr. Fiona Moejes (Bantry Marine Research Station, Ireland)
Commissioned for Climate Innovation Summit 2018 by Climate KIC