Chandelier containing living microalgae to "purify the air"


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/02/07/571898.html


#2

Excellent, keep up the good work.


#3

Are they claiming this is the first ever houseplant?


#4

I don’t know about the air purification, but it sure is beautiful.


#5

Well it’s the first one made by a biohacker. Same thing.


#6

I love this kind of “Art Nouveau” look, witch is not surprising when you take inspiration in plants.


#7

It’s beautiful and I love it.

But part of me wonders if it will start to smell like pond scum, or decay into a brown slime. Not that that would necessarily be unattractive, but enquiring minds want to know.


#8

Phytoplankton needs care to grow and not die. It also needs food in the form of nitrate. If there is any exchange in the air it would mean exposing the water which would lead to evaporation. So either the culture will crash or they have to lower the whole thing to maintain it. Also, if you maintain a phytoplankton culture, it can have a nice smell to it of freshness.


#9

This would be very high maintenance if it’s really growing algae. My guess is that the fluid in it will at some point be quietly replaced with a similar looking inert translucent green liquid, if that hasn’t already been done.


#10

Agreed. I think your average houseplant probably cleans the air more, but they definitely are works of art. Are the prices heart-attack inducing?


#11

Read the article and look at the pics, the whole thing is plumbed and on a life support machine. It’s quite extraordinary!


#12

I also have a plant…oh damn…I HAVE A PLANT!!! maybe it needs water…


#13

I wants it! I needs it!


#14

It’s gonna be a nightmare to dust it off.


#15

Given they claim it grows “continuously” I think they’re claiming it is the first immortal houseplant…

and will presumably eventually take over the biosphere and expand into space.


#16

Yeah, I was also wondering about this. I take care of fish tanks, and swimming pools, and… plants (both indoor and outdoor, inground and in containers).

There’s a lot of shake-down details here that are not abundantly clear. It’s pretty, and it seems like a good idea prima facie but the maintenance–life support machine or not–is really making a case against it.

  • How much light/electrical budget is committed to keeping the phytoplankton alive?

  • How much air pollution is generated by the (coal-fired? nuke? hydro? solar?) power plant that (a) is powering the light and life support machine, and (b) is that accounted for in the artist’s argument that his work is purifying the air?

  • How much air is being purified by such a pretty thing, per kilowatt hour, vs. something like this:

?

(I am aware that maintenance costs on a living wall are also significant, but in the cost-benefit analysis of indoor air quality ROI, there are winners and losers based on stuff like math and data.) Simplest explainer:

The intersection between Art and Functional Art (in non-aesthetic, measurable-by-engineers-and-scientists terms) is not very big. And super pretty closed-loop functional art, made by humans, is smaller still.

I suppose the biggest functional art object with closed loops I can think of is this one:

  • Looking to purify the air? Please, please talk to this guy:

ETA: grammar, punctuation and stuff


#17

Wow, that’s beautiful.

Does it come in any other colors, though?


#18

I don’t have the answers to your questions but the people who actually built the chandelier thing usually build what they call Biosolar Leaf panels for walls or roof surfaces.

I suspect they do :slight_smile:

http://arborea.io/

Apparently you supply the panels with CO2 (from whatever your business is doing that generates CO2), water and light and the panels provide oxygen, food and all sorts of other benefits.


#19

Nah, that’s a space ship.


#20

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