SEAmpathy

Algae Ranging Between Living and Dead Matter


Imagine a world in which we harness nature in favour of man without harming it. Wonderings upon our consumption habits and a vision for a well being that is more beneficial for both the planet and mankind have led to a design process that explores algae as a catalyst for perceptual change. SEAmpaty displays objects with a lot of respect and love for nature, which on one hand trying to cultivate the algae, and on the other, maintaining the algae inner world of concepts – smells, textures and unique connotations.

Biophilia believes that human beings have a natural tendency to make connections and relationships with nature, and sees nature as a major component in stimulating our senses throughout evolution. The project focuses on the the biophilic experience and natural aesthetics with objects that offer two approaches which create a hybrid between land and sea – YAMA and MAYMA

“YAMA” – A partition that proposes an implementation of the algae as a versatile sheet with a potential for recycling and industrialization.

Out of circular design and zero waste approaches, that tries NOT to produce more junk I created a biomaterial that can be used and reused by repeating the process of its “cooking”. At the end of the life cycle of the new sheets, it can be used as raw material for new casting, or return it to nature. In this way the material preserves its contents and properties, and allows maximal utilization of the material and minimal environmental impact.

“MAYMA” – Reconstruction of the algae for a configuration of living fibers that sustain photosynthesis.

Institute
Bezalel Academy of Art and Design
Weizmann Institute of Science

Student
Daniel Elkayam

Supervision
Nati Shamia Opher, Dr. Filipe Natalio

Images
Oded Antman, Yossi Roth, Daniel Elkayam

Videos
YAMA – Yona Kaplan, MAYMA – Naama Shmueli

View Project

During my project, I collaborated with the Weizmann institution for science, and worked at Dr. Filipe Natalio’s lab for researching and developing methods for creating living matter. The purpose of the experiment was to create a manipulation for a living microscopic algae culture while preserving it in life. After many attempts and development time I have reached the accuracy required to produce a shell for the algae that on the one hand allows the material to transform into a formation of spheres or fibers and on the other hand allows gases exchange and the continuation of living material. A good analog for my approach with MAYMA its the Bonsai tree (which is not a pygmy tree, but a tree carefully trimmed by its roots and branches to keep it small). Like the Bonsai, the living fibers preserve the tension between nature rules and the manipulation I apply on the material.

The project provides a green alternative to matter and seeks to bring man and nature together by examining the relationship between them, and giving man an active role in growing and recycling the object. At the same time, biophilic values that come up through the objects, create sort of inner peace, and by it reduce the urge to consume more and more, which leads to healthier and better consumption habits among us.

 

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