Imagine a world in which we harness nature in favour of humankind, without harming nature. Wonderings upon our consumption habits and a vision for a better well-being for the planet and for us, have generated a design process examining algae as a catalyst for perceptual change.
SEAmpaty displays objects with respect and love for nature, which on one hand tries to cultivate the algae, and on the other, maintains the algae's inner world, retaining its smells, textures and unique connotations.
In an era characterised by fast and changing fashion that had led to polluting and wasteful industries, the designer felt that his role requires him to relate to and embrace values such as sustainability, environmental activism and zero waste. The project provides a green alternative and seeks to bring humankind and nature together by giving people an active role in growing and recycling the object. Biophilia believes that human beings have a natural tendency to make connections and relationships with nature, and views nature as a major component in stimulating our senses throughout evolution. The project engages with the biophilic experience and natural aesthetics through objects that present two approaches to create a hybrid between land and sea:
A partition which proposes an implementation of the algae as a versatile sheet material, with the potential for recycling and industrialisation. Inspired by circular design and zero waste approaches the designer has created a biomaterial that can be used and reused by repeating the process of its 'cooking'.
Reconstruction of the algae for a configuration of living fibres that sustain photosynthesis. During the project and research, the designer has been collaborating with Weizmann Institution for science and worked under Dr. Filipe Natalio's lab researching and developing methods for creating living matter. Experimenting with new fields and collaborating with scientists was essential to the project. The purpose of the experiment was to create a manipulation for a living microscopic algae colony.
After many attempts and development time, Elkayam has reached the accuracy required to produce a shell for algae that on the one hand transforms into a material for the formation of spheres or fibres and on the other hand allows gas exchange and the continuation of living material.
Information submitted by the maker and edited by the Future Materials Bank.
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