A bio-alternative to constructing outdoor gear
The advent of synthetic materials such as polyurethane and Gore-tex has democratised access to extreme climates. Human interactions with these climates are temporary experiences, lasting days to weeks, but they have lasting repercussions for the landscape left behind. Waste is a complex issue on the mountains, where climbers frequently leave behind their gear to avoid carrying any extra weight for a safer descent. There is a need to design gear specifically for short-term use: made from nature, to be experienced in nature.
Purely by existing, we consume energy in the natural environment. The point of Algear is to highlight a move away from the mainstream notion of brutal energy extraction and move towards a mindful form of consumption. The ability to cultivate micro-algae allows for a sustainable form of extraction.
This project harnesses the organic growth assembly of cyanobacteria, a blue-green algae which is among the oldest known phototropic organisms. Their photosynthetic abilities and adaptiveness to stressful conditions offer potential for a material that can endure the shifting/changing climates. Their simple cell structure allows the species to grow at a fast rate, making them almost infinitely renewable.
Algear proposes a future where outdoor gear that protects us from the elements can be created and produced with elements that are abundant to us or with what is left from the past. This project contributes to the importance of the leave-no-trace code, through growing a material that naturally biodegrades and nourishes the land in the process, allowing for the conservation of an ecological future through our transient adventures outdoors.
Information submitted by the maker and edited by the Future Materials Bank.
Grow Lab CSM