water lilly algal bloom from cesare griffa on Vimeo.

Water Lilly is a family of intelligent architecture components called “smart creatures” conceived to act as photobioreactors to grow micro-algae within the built environment.

The family is now composed of the following members:

Water Lilly components create the conditions for growing phototrophic organisms (phytoplankton, micro-algae) in a biologically active controlled environment to be spread in architectural environments. Such organisms are studied today as one of the most promising sources of bio-fuels. Integrating this technology into the built environment open up a new potential of an active enrolment of architecture in the  vast an complex system of energy production.

Feed with light, mineral salts and carbon dioxide, the algae grow into a biomass that can then be treated to create bio-fuel and other carbon based polymers. The system at work offers the possibility of an extra-ordinary green night enlightenment, while giving its contribution to carbon dioxide absorption from the environment, oxygen production and polluted air and water filtering.

As a smart creatures, all Water Lilly components have a nervous system composed of sensors, control boards and activators connected with electrical wires to map the environment conditions around them.  Often, their metabolism is socially sensitive. They react to people presence and movement, boosting or slowing down their activity accordingly. They love company, and when a few Water Lilly get together in the same environment, they begin to communicate by sharing data, creating the conditions for a connective intelligence based on open knowledge sharing.

Water Lilly components have been presented in the following events:

Water Lilly components have been designed using open modelling software and produced using open digital manufacturing technology. Some WaterLilly components have a downloadable file that include 3d software modelling script, technical drawings for cutting machines, list of hardware and software required, mounting schemes and instructions. Build your own Water Lilly or customise her, and enjoy!

Conceived and designed by Cesare Griffa, every WaterLilly component has been created by a vast team involving collaborations with other designers, institutions (including MIT Senseable City Lab), and companies (like Arduino), that share the common background of  exploring a more sustainable future based on digital technologies, bio-hacking and sharing knowledge.

17 Responses to “WaterLilly”
  1. griffa says:

    With Fablab Torino on barcamper

  2. griffa says:

    su technogeek in occasione del compleanno del fablab torino e presentazione della makerfaire di roma: http://www.technonews.it/2013/02/18/technogeek-meet-the-makers/

  3. griffa says:


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  6. [...] schemi elettronici e sketch di Arduino (materiale originale pubblicato con licenza CC), visitate la pagina di Water Lilly. Sequel a breve. cg [...]

  7. [...] http://cesaregriffa.com/waterlilly/ [...]

  8. [...] ||| Waterlilly di Cesare Griffa (foto) [...]

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  12. […] Maker of Merit prize went to architect Cesare Griffa for his awesome Waterlily algae project. Waterlily is designed to encourage “domestic” growing of customised algae, whether for […]

  13. […] “Waterlilly”, dell’architetto Cesare Griffa, funzionando come un foto bio reattore, crea le condizioni per la crescita di micro alghe, che puliscono l’aria. Strutturato in diversi moduli (esteticamente molto belli), trova applicazioni diverse e se usato al meglio delle sue possibilità, consente anche un risparmio nel condizionamento del 20 per cento.  […]

  14. […] Le kit Water Lilly […]

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