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Algae

The Seaweed Archives

Studio Tång consists of two architects, Joline Schikan and Barbara Gwóźdź, who created The Seaweed Archives project as a part of their master thesis at Chalmers University of Technology.

This project aims to offer an alternative to current conventional materials and move from carbon emission to carbon storage by focusing on an abundant, underutilised and, if harvested right, highly sustainable material: Seaweed. Seaweed, or macroalgae, is easy to grow, requires no land, fertilisers or fresh water and grows about thirty times faster than land-based plants. Seaweed, and algae in general, have long been used in coastal regions as a food source, fertiliser, energy source and for a variety of industrial applications. What if seaweed could also be grown for the purpose of creating sustainable materials?
The main focus of the project lies in exploring the potential of seaweed as a building material. Apart from investigating macroalgae, the investigation also includes studies on microalgae and seagrasses. The thesis’s approach to the material investigations is mainly from an aesthetic point of view and the durability of the material. The materials are implemented in real architectural elements and tested in relation to different aspects like tactility, visual appearance and water resistance. The material experiments include bioplastics sheets, bioplastic inflatable structures, seacrete panels and seaweed shingles serving as both interior and exterior materials.

Text submitted by the maker

Ingredient list

Bioplastics and leather sheets: agar agar, astaxanthin, spirulina, blue spirulina, carrageenan kappa, kelp, glycerine.

Seacrete Panels: calcium chloride, alginate, oyster shell powder, seaweed dye, seaweed pieces.

Photo credits

Joline Schikan, Barbara Gwóźdź