Atelier LUMA in Cairo

« This action, you can analyse it in two ways, you can analyse the quantity of product we develop, or in the kind of awareness we create. What we need to understand is how much awareness we create. We give hope, we create contacts, we have governmental meetings and everybody was talking about the environment and how the algae can be used for substitute plastic. »
Giulio Vinaccia

Can we use design to bridge the worlds of culture, science and the industry?

The Algae Platform researches new values for wetlands as incubators for locally grown bio-materials and builds an extensive network of scientists, engineers, farmers, makers and artists, researching the potentials of algae. It started in 2017 with the Algae Lab, a bio-laboratory set up in collaboration with Studio Klarenbeek & Dros in order to explore the potential of growing micro- and macro-algae locally.

The algae are mixed with biopolymers to produce a fully bio-sourced material that can replace non-biodegradable fossil oil-based plastics. The project proposes a new model for circular production through biofabrication and decentralized fabrication such as 3D printing. The Algae Platform has grown and evolved towards a transnational platform with key partners in the Mediterranean region and beyond.

Pilot projects have taken place in Cairo, Istanbul, Sardinia and the Balkans aiming at researching local algae species and collaborating with existing communities. This led to fruitful knowledge exchanges and to the production of a wide range of objects combining craft and new technologies that draw on cultural archives from the diverse locations where they were produced.

Blooming Algae is a co-production between Istanbul Design Biennial and Atelier LUMA / LUMA Arles.



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