Let’s talk again about the London-based architecture and design studio ecoLogicStudio, led by Claudia Pasquero and Marco Poletto, with their new PhotoSynthetica Collection. In 2018, we presented the PhotoSynthetica research project with the urban curtain that functions as a photo-bioreactor.

After 5 years of development, the studio has expanded its research with the first collection of biophilic design products, which includes a desktop biotechnological air purifier, a compostable stool, and a 3D-printed jewel made of re-metabolized pollution. Each solution combines the possibilities offered by biophilic and digital design and implements true circularity of production and use: the biomass grown from the air purification process becomes raw material for 3D printing the compostable stool and the jewel.

“This collection is born from the dream of growing the city of the future from the waste and pollution of our current fossil civilization. More than products, these first three objects are tools to start a collective process of urban re-metabolization.” — affirms Dr. Marco Poletto.

The products of the PhotoSynthetica Collection

AIReactor — The new desktop biotechnological air purifier is an indoor photobioreactor capable of absorbing carbon dioxide and pollutants while oxygenating the air. It is suitable for the domestic realm and ideal for the work and educational environments. The product is made of a few core elements that at the end of their useful life can be re-used, re-cycled or composted. An interlocking structure consisting of birch plywood components supports a 1-meter-tall lab-grade glass photobioreactor hosting up to 10 liters of living photosynthetic micro-algae cultures.

AIReactor has the same carbon-capturing potential as a mature tree, and it’s engineered to be an actual carbon-neutral product in its entire lifecycle. The product supports a holistic approach to wellbeing in the urban environment. Cleaner air has direct benefits for respiratory health, and the symbiotic connection with nature offers parallel benefits for mental health. Each reactor can capture diverse air pollutants: 20 grams of CO2 (carbon dioxide) per day; 0,14 micrograms of PM2.5 per cubic meter; 0,29 micrograms of PM10 per cubic meter; and 0,69 micrograms of NO2 (nitrogen dioxide) per cubic meter.

Compostable tool — AIReactor re-metabolizes pollutants and carbon dioxide into biomass: the latter is turned into a bio-polymer and, thanks to 3D printing, the potential for the production of ‘mass customised’ products is exploited. Like the stem of a plant, the stool can flex and gently adapt to the shape of the user body and weight, while resisting to its vertical load.

The compostable stool is the result of a research collaboration between ecoLogicStudio and the Synthetic Landscape Lab at Innsbruck University, directed by Prof. Claudia Pasquero. Thanks to technology and design, the stool can be produced on a global scale through many local supply chains. The product comes in a natural color and is 3d printed with a bespoke compound of flexible PLA/PHB biodegradable and compostable filament.

Bio-digital Ring — The PhotoSynthetica Collection converts waste and pollution into valuable resources and the bio-digital ring is the closest we have come to “grow a jewel” from the emissions of London. Each ring is composed of 30% of algal biomass on a base of polylactic acid (PLA). It weighs 20 grams, thus storing approximately the daily air filtration of one AIReactor. 

“In this unique object, we can recognize one of the most significant aspects of contemporary technological evolution: its inevitable convergence with living nature. The ring has a powerful symbolic value, it is a call to collectively re-orient our value systems and to recognize preciousness where now we only see dirt.” — Prof. Claudia Pasquero.

AIReactor and the first series of compostable stools are now part of the Permanent Design Collection of the Mudac – Museum of Contemporary Design and Applied Arts in Lausanne (Switzerland).

To discover all ecoLogicStudio’s projects and learn more about PhotoSynthetica, visit their website and follow them on Instagram! Photography by Pepe Photography

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