Otrivin Air Lab by ecoLogicStudio
Building Centre London, UK
June 15 – September 17, 2022
ecoLogicStudio, architecture and design innovation firm specialised in biotechnology for the built environment, presents the Otrivin Air Lab, a living showroom and bio-design workshop conceived in collaboration with Otrivin which is open to the public at the Building Centre in London (UK) from June 15th to September 17th, 2022. The Otrivin Air Lab engages its visitors in the development of biodegradable polymers made with the by-product of the air purification process powered by living photosynthetic microalgae.
Founded by architects and researchers Claudia Pasquero and Marco Poletto, ecoLogicStudio has built an international reputation for its projects integrating systemic thinking, computational design, biotechnology and digital prototyping. This “broadened” approach to design, ranging from the micro to the urban scales, is embodied into the Otrivin Air Lab, where the experimental practice becomes an open laboratory in the public realm. ecoLogicStudio and the Otrivin Actions to Breathe Cleaner initiative are currently experimenting with innovative nature-based solutions to mitigate the impact of urban air pollution on breathing health. Previous projects have seen the design of the AirBubble playground in Warsaw and that of an inflatable AirBubble air-purifying eco-machine, first deployed in Glasgow during COP26. Through the application of the PhotoSynthetica technology, pioneered by ecoLogicStudio, the Otrivin Air Lab tests the feasibility to build a circular production workflow, where carbon dioxide (CO2) and urban air pollution are re-metabolized into fresh biomass. At the Otrivin Air Lab, visitors will be able to harvest microalgae that will then be transformed into algae-based bioplastic, biofilament for 3D printing and finally into new biodegradable products. “With the Otrivin Air Lab, we want to enable urban dwellers to design new nature based circular economies. At the lab we harvest carbon dioxide, purify polluted urban air and 3d print plastic free biodegradable products. Essentially, we convert air pollution into products that help protect our breathing!” – affirm Claudia Pasquero and Marco Poletto, co-founders of ecoLogicStudio. The laboratory is enclosed by a lightweight and reversible timber structure that hosts all the systems involved in the different phases of the air-purification and biomass transformation process. The main photosynthetic wall houses 12 photobioreactors. These are one metre tall bespoke lab grade glass vessels, each filled with 10 litres of living photosynthetic microalgae. Four strains have been selected for their versatility and beauty: Spirulina, Chlorella, Porphyridium and Cyanidium. The wall will adsorb 240g of CO2 and release 180g of Oxygen producing 84g of biomass daily.
In the Otrivin Air Lab, ecoLogicStudio’s bio-designers will craft a catalogue of material samples with various properties derived directly from the daily harvest. From bioplastics and bio-rubbers, to 3d printing algae filaments, they will be testing various algae strains resulting in a catalogue of beautiful colour gradients. These crafted filaments will be employed in a live 3d printing process to produce carbon neutral products. In particular, the unique Fibonacci NetiPot introduces a new line of product opportunities that updates the historical evolution of nasal cleansing and respiratory wellness for the post-pandemic age. The ambition is to raise awareness about the impact of air quality on our respiratory health, by bringing a pleasurable experience of beauty, aesthetic and haptic stimulation into everyday lifestyles of self-care. With each NetiPot produced 15g of carbon dioxide are removed from the air, so that by taking care of ourselves we can also take care of the environment we are part of. The NetiPot embodies a new sphere of opportunity for the evolution of products, shelf displays and packaging. The Otrivin Air Lab pioneering bio-digital fabrication process aims to eliminate the production of waste, to optimise material use and performance, to improve natural biodegradability and to achieve carbon neutral industrial scalability. ecoLogicStudio & Otrivin are partners in the belief that no action is too small when it comes to mitigating the impact of poor air quality on our breathing health, and that experimentation is a key part of the journey towards uncovering innovative ideas that can inspire thought and be a template for a sustainable manufacturing future.