- Team members
- Ewa Hiller
- algae future food home growing bioreactor ecology sustainability cultivation
Algator is a bioreactor for home-grown algae.
Algator provides algae with the right conditions for growing through the use of electronic components that control the temperature, lighting, water movement and aeration. The device is partly automatic, but gives the user a possibility of feeding and caring for living organisms. When starting the cultivation, distilled water and nutrients are put into the jug while the temperature, light, and aeration are set to pour the algae starter culture. The jug, which is a well-known shape, makes this device friendly and suggestive of a kitchen appliance. This helps to get used to the idea of eating algae. The cork base conceals electronic components and elevates the jug, so that the beauty of these unusual organisms can be observed. The materials are ecological and provide right properties - isolation and water resistance. Algator electronics systems is only made of necessary components, which makes it energy efficient and sustainable.
- Does your design take social and cultural challenges and human wellbeing into consideration?
Algae play a vital role in ecosystems, produce half of the oxygen on Earth, and might be crucial for a sustainable future as an energy source in pharmaceuticals and cosmetics, in water remediation, as a fertilizer, animal feed and they can also serve as food of the future for the growing human population. The nutrient content and ecological cultivation makes them a healthy, sustainable source of food. Algator enables people to grow algae at home and helps them get to know these often underappreciated organisms. People on different diets can benefit from algae species - those on a vegan diet can supplement vitamin B12, others, on a meat diet, will benefit from plant-based micronutrients. One of the reasons behind this project is to allow users to be closer with nature, which is achieved by allowing for individual cultivation of the organisms at home.
- Does your design support sustainable production, embodying circular or regenerative design practices?
The materials are chosen because of their low impact on the environment. Gass and cork are both possible to reuse. Also, those materials are selected to provide sustainable properties. The double walls of the glass jug insulate water, reducing power consumption. Cork oak bark is obtained without harming the tree, it is hydrophobic, resistant to biological corrosion and easy to form by pressing cork granules. I chose components and materials for economic, functional and technological purpose, to make an environment-friendly device, Algator electronics systems is only made of necessary components, which makes it energy efficient and sustainable. Cork base allows to place components without glue, and to easy access to exchange if necessary.
- Does your design promote awareness of responsible design and consumption?
One of the reasons behind this project is to allow users to be closer with nature, which is achieved by allowing for individual cultivation of the organisms at home. I designed the shape of the device, which is friendly and familiar. We can easily imagine it on the countertop. Due to similarity with kitchen devices I wanted to highlight the edible purpose of Algator, and encourage people to eat and grow algae. Algator enables people to grow algae at home and helps them get to know these often underappreciated organisms, which maight play a role in solving problems of future foods, responding to the population growth and the need for healthy and sustainable food sources.