Interactive Algae Farm Relies On Visitors To Help It Grow

H.O.R.T.U.S. features hanging bags of algae, which can be used for bio-oil, cooking and weaving.

After smart tech takes over the home and the car, gadget gardening looks like it could be the next frontier. This new gardening prototype is an interactive algae farm, that hosts micro and macro-algal organisms as well as bioluminescent bacteria. Designed to engage notions of urban renewable energy and agriculture, the installation is fitted with ambient light-sensing technologies and a custom-designed virtual interface.

Interactive Algae Farm Exhibit Turns Visitors Into "Cyber-Gardeners"

Designed by London-based collaborative ecoLogicStudio, H.O.R.T.U.S. (Hydro Organisms Responsive To Urban Stimuli) is a kind of “cyber-garden” with over 300 “photobioreactor” hanging bags of algae. The different species generate oxygen, biomass and energy and once harvested, can be used to “extract bio-oil, cook super-snacks and weave biologic fabrics”.

Interactive Algae Farm Exhibit Turns Visitors Into "Cyber-Gardeners"

The interactive element includes visitors exhaling into the bags to feed the organisms with carbon dioxide, and scanning their QR codes to monitor and tweet about the algae’s growth. All of the digital information is sent to a nearby monitor, which displays how the “cyber-garden” evolves over time. H.O.R.T.U.S. is currently on exhibit at London’s Architectural Association until February 11th.

H.O.R.T.U.S.

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