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Radical Enough?

(Archive) Blue Yonder

Critical and speculative design research, exploring the future of cultivating and harvesting micro and macroalgae for pigments and plastics.

This project was part of DDW 2022
Agar biopolymers and Phycocyanin Pigment — © Maria Martins

Blue Yonder is based on biological encounters on the Atlantic coast of Portugal. It explores the future of cultivating and harvesting algae for new designs. In search of oceanic blue, seawater pigments were developed and integrated to unveil alterative dyes as the potential of colour as data.

Bio Design

Bio-design discipline engages in re-thinking strategies on materials and energy for sustainable innovation.

A commitment to move away from fossil-based sources, introducing solutions to the supply chain and to re-shape unsustainable systems. We are invited to take a step back and reflect on social systems and ecosystems. Question the role of design and the designer in a future under a climate emergency.

As a Bio designer, one builds the capacity to zoom in and out of a system/material, which plays a key role in how future studios and companies will work. A point of view from the extraction point and it’s stress on the source, to the decomposition and implications of the product.
Critical and speculative design research, exploring the future of cultivating and harvesting micro and macroalgae for new materials.

Biofabrication with algae

This body of work is focused on the properties of algae for new materials, focusing biochemistry principles and technology into bio-fabrication. I work under a mix of traditional and contemporary textile print and dye techniques to highlight algal material properties. From new polymers to photosynthetic pigments.

In Blue Yonder photosynthetic pigments and natural colors were applied on algae-based plastics. Bioplastics are plastic materials where fossil fuel polymers are replaced with plant-based sources, in this case, algae. The material acts as a conventional plastic but decomposes in eighteen months, as opposed to traditional plastics long lifetime.

Temporary spaces and Impermanence

The prototypes aim to Indulge in the impermanence and vulnerability that fast biodegradable materials evoke and apply it to places of the same nature: Temporary Spaces. Taking on the example of a window display or a pop exhibition, due to the short nature of this spaces, within 6 months or less the product transitions to waste or recyclable goods. But what if the materials used for such spaces followed the same ephemeral rhythm? Would it still fulfill the functional and aesthetic needs?
The link between the user and the object, rooted in responsibility, is revived through these experiences. The artfacts developed throughout algae bio-mass have highlighted sensorial properties, touch, texture... From a cognitive level, the material can take you to a range of different emotions, and most interestingly, new ones, due to the original nature of the products. In that way, the viewer and user can poetically engage with the materiality decision of the designer.

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Radical Enough?

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Andere deelnemers

Radical Enough?