Water Lilly is the first preliminary prototype of a series of intelligent architecture components called “smart creatures”. These components are conceived to be used in the near future to populate building surfaces enhancing sustainable behaviors.
Acting as a photo bio reactor, Water Lilly is a device that creates the conditions for growing phototrophic organisms (phytoplankton, microalgae) in a biologically active controlled environment to be spread over architectural surfaces. Such organisms are studied today as one of the most promising sources of bio-fuels. Integrating this technology into the built environment could open up the possibility of an active enrollment of architecture in the vast an complex system of energy production.
Being a dynamic thermal mass, the water based bio-solution contained in the pipes of the system can interact with the hvac systems of the building by carrying heat or cool temperature from one side to the other, optimizing thermal flows and potentially reducing energy costs in the maintenance of the building temperature. Feed with light, mineral salts and carbon dioxide, the algae grow into a biomass than 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.
As a smart creature, Water Lilly has a nervous system composed of sensors, control boards and activators connected with electrical wires to map the environment conditions around her. Her metabolism is socially sensitive. She reacts to people presence and movement, boosting or slowing down her activity accordingly. She loves 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 has been presented in the following events:
- Traces of Centuries and Future Steps, collateral event of the Venice Biennale of Architecture, Palazzo Bembo, Venice, August 25th – November 25th 2012
- Bio.23 Ljubjana Biennal of Design, Museum of Architecture and Design, Ljubjana, September 27th – November 11th 2012
- Share Festival 2012 – Open your City, Museo di Scienze Naturali, Torino, October 30th – November 11th 2012
- 8th Swiss Design Network Symposium 2012.SUPSI, Lugano, November 9th 2012
- Conference Abitare il Futuro, Universita’ Federico II, Napoli, December 12-13th 2012
- Milano Design week 2013: We Make Open Design: Design dai Codici Apertie la Rivoluzione dei Makers al Fuorisalone, Area35 – Via Vigevano 35, Milano, 10–14th April 2013
- Milano Design week 2013: Bottega Digitale con il Fablab Torino al Salone Satellite, Fiera di Milano, Rho, 10-14th April 2013
Water Lilly has been designed using open modeling software and produced using open digital manufacturing technology.
conceived and designed by Cesare Griffa with Massimiliano Manno, Denise Giordana, Federico Borello
fabricated @ Fablab Torino, powered by Officine Arduino
special thanks to Sara Bigazzi, Franco Magni, Davide Gomba, Enrico Bassi, Federico Vanzati, Antonio Ravarino, Gabriele Ricchiardi, Federico Rizzo, Marco Caprani, Francesco Puccio, Stefano prds, Marco, Juan Carlos Osorio, Federico Del Gaudio, Andrea Patrucco
Full project kit download (WIP)
The project kit is published under a Creative Commons licence and is fully downloadable at http://cesaregriffa.com/waterlilly. The Water Lilly kit contains: software modeling script, technical drawings for cutting machines, list of hardware and software required, and mounting scheme. Build your own Water Lilly or customize her, and enjoy!