Design ecoLogicoStudio Envisions Three Objects for the Future
Designbiodesign

ecoLogicoStudio Envisions Three Objects for the Future

Anna Frattini

We have previously discussed biophilic design here, and today we delve into the exploration of the first collection from London-based design studio ecoLogicoStudio, the Photosynthetica Collection. The collection consists of three products: the AIReactor, a compostable stool, and a 3D-printed ring made of micro-algae biomass. The press release describes it as «a collection of biophilic design products for collective cyber-gardening». These words might be confusing when read together for those not following the progress in the world of design regarding circular economy. Let’s explore the features of these three objects, blending curiosity and new perspectives.

AIReactor

The AIReactor is essentially a new biotechnological air purifier, an indoor photobioreactor capable of absorbing carbon dioxide and pollutants. The AIReactor not only purifies the air but also oxygenates it. In these times when pollution is a significant concern, this is a certainly ingenious solution. The product’s operation is not straightforward to explain, but we’ll attempt it nonetheless. Starting with the structure: an interlocking birch plywood frame supporting a one-meter-high borosilicate glass photobioreactor. This structure houses up to 10 liters of live photosynthetic micro-algae cultures, capturing air from the surrounding environment.

As the explanation continues, rising air bubbles continuously agitate the culture fluid, simulating the effects of waves and marine currents. This movement keeps the algal cells afloat, promoting photosynthesis and producing a relaxing sound that spreads into the surrounding space along with the new oxygen molecules. The AIReactor can produce up to 7 grams of dry algae per day and captures the same amount of carbon dioxide as a mature tree. It represents a holistic approach to urban well-being, looking towards the future of our homes and new furnishings that will help improve air quality.

Compostable Stool

Alongside the AIReactor, the compostable stool is part of the permanent design collection at MudacMuseum of Contemporary Design and Applied Arts in Lausanne, Switzerland. If the AIReactor transforms carbon dioxide into biomass, this biomass, when converted into bio-polymers, can be used as a raw material for everyday products. The perfect example of this product’s use is the compostable stool—a new frontier for bio-polymers associated with 3D printing for the mass production of customized products. During the stool’s creation, there is also involvement from a university laboratory, the Synthetic Landscape Lab in Innsbruck. The real innovation lies in the combination of bio-technological materiality and morphological articulation characteristic of digital design, allowing virtually infinite customization of the product.

Bio-Digital Ring

With the PhotoSynthetica Collection, ecoLogicoStudio converts pollutant molecules into resources. The ring, the latest product in the collection, embodies a vision that aims to «grow a jewel» from London’s pollution. Designed with the help of Artificial Intelligence, the ring is cultivated in a bio-digital environment. According to Professor Claudia Pasquero, «The ring, in this sense, has powerful symbolic value; it invites us to realign our system of shared social values and recognize value, or even preciousness, where we currently see only polluting dust.»

Everything is interconnected, and it all concerns us and the way we will experience daily life in the near future. Even the ring, weighing 20 grams, stores the equivalent of the daily filtration content of an AIReactor. As mentioned earlier, the AIReactor transforms biomass into bio-polymers. Despite the approach not being immediately clear, in the new collection from ecoLogicoStudio, we see a glimpse of the future of design influenced by science and adaptation, driven forward by two Italians, Claudia Pasquero and Marco Poletto.

Designbiodesign
Written by Anna Frattini
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