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Innovation & Technology: HORTUS at the Architectural Association School of Architecture

An interactive installation at the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London enables visitors to become part of a live greenhouse both physically and digitally.

London-based practice ecoLogicStudio have hung hundreds of transparent, plastic bags called photobioreactors from a ceiling, which contain various types of algae.  Visitors are encouraged to blow through the long tubes attached to each of the bags – the carbon dioxide they naturally exhale oxygenates the algae enabling it to grow.

Each sack has its own QR code and by scanning this in through a smartphone, visitors can access information about the algae they have helped to nurture – this scan also prompts the phone user to Tweet about it.  Over the four weeks, this information will be illustrated on a screen in the exhibition as a virtual garden, reacting live to the interaction it receives.

We have been tracking the interplay between architecture and science for some time now – see our recent In The Air report Miracle Materials: Bacteria & Algae, which details further projects exploring the potential of living architecture, also triggered by human interaction.  Taking this a little further, HORTUS (Hydro Organism Responsive To Urban Stimuli) proposes the idea of a system which uses a digital interface to create an interactive and responsive symbiosis between humans and the environment. – Samantha Fox

Images courtesy of Architzer.

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