WaterLilly 20

The simplest organisms living on Earth, the most fragile, and the most resistant, micro-algae are the origins of life on the planet. They are responsible of the Oxygen Catastrophe that, some 2.5 billions years ago, created the atmospheric conditions for the life of later creatures, including humans. They were here much before humans, and will stay much longer.

WaterLilly is a series of photo-bioreactors, ongoing since 2011, that introduces micro-algae as a living matter for design and architecture. WaterLilly 20, one of the most recent components of the family, is a growing box to cultivate micro-algae in a domestic environment. It purifies air, produces valuable superfood, and hypnotise people.

In fact, the WaterLilly 20 is more than a growing box for algae. The bubbling green water is a trap for the eye. It’s a trigger that activates human consciousness through a form of archaic fascination and agricultural activity. It’s about being fascinated by other living creatures and take care of them. The cycles of life start with the inoculum of a new culture, develop during the growing phase, and finish with the final harvesting.
It’s another dimension of time and space.

The dimension of life, set by its own cycles.
The dimension of myth, set by the relationship with the very origins of life.
The dimension of responsibility, set by the attempt to repair what has been broke.
The dimension of a planetary memory, set by the brevity of human presence.

The dimension where the remaining of the oldest reflects into the hopes for the newer.

Glass growing chamber, wooden box, LED panel, Mylar foil, aerator, AC DC transformer.

Design Team
Cesare Griffa with Silvio De Iaco and Stefania Totis

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