The Lillies (algal design)

water lilly algal bloom from cesare griffa on Vimeo.

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

The Lillies:

The Lillies 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, the Lillies 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:

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

22 Responses to “The Lillies (algal design)”
  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:

  3. griffa says:

  4. Anonymous says:

    WaterLilly 2.0 è un sistema per coltivare microalghe sulle facciate architettoniche. L’attività fotosintetica delle microalghe è molto più intensa di quella degli organismi vegetali più complessi. Ne risulta una maggiore capacità di assorbimento di CO2 e maggiore produzione di ossigeno. I nutrienti di cui hanno bisogno per la concimazione sono ricchi in nitrati e fosfati, normalmente presenti nelle acque reflue di uso domestico.

    Le alghe crescendo in ambiente urbano purificano aria e acqua.

    Le microalghe crescono fino a saturare la soluzione acquosa. A quel punto vanno raccolte e la biomassa ottenuta può essere usata per la produzione di proteine per l’industria alimentare, omega 3 e altre vitamine per l’industria nutraceutica, molecole farmaceutiche e cosmetiche, bioplastiche e biocarburanti come etanolo e biodiesel. Nel frattempo la cultura riparte, e nel giro di poche settimane si può procedere a un nuovo raccolto.

    • griffa says:

      Waterlilly 2.0 is a system for cultivating microalgae on architectural facades. The photosynthetic activity of microalgae is much more intense than that of more complex vegetable organisms, resulting in a greater capacity to fix CO2 and increased O2 production. The nutrients needed for fertilization are rich in nitrates and phosphates, normally present in the waste water from domestic use.

      While growing in an urban environment, microalgae purify air and water.

      Microalgae grow to saturate the water solution. At that point they need to be collected and the biomass obtained can be used for the production of proteins for the food industry, omega 3 and other vitamins for the nutraceutical industry, cosmetic and pharmaceutical molecules, bioplastics and biofuels such as ethanol and biodiesel. Meanwhile, the culture starts again, and within a few weeks you can proceed to a new crop.

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