We’ve seen every kind of architectural concept related to green design, but here’s an exciting new one that may also be the oddest. It seems to borrow from a NASA design concept; it constantly re-builds itself and grows biofuel on its exterior.
The design by Howeler and Yoon and Squared Design Lab targets temporary structures–to make the most of suspended construction projects or perhaps empty lots. No one lives in these buildings; their only occupants are robots and algae. The algae is cultivated for turning into biofuel. And the robots? Well, they’re basically smart versions of the robot arm on the International Space Station, and they’re actually powered by the algae itself.
What makes the whole structure tick is that the arms can disconnect themselves and re-connect to different units in the pod-like facility–just like the ISS’s arm that docks and undocks to travel the space station, and is used for construction. Each pod contains the algae in a bio-reactor/growing environment. While growing, and with LED-lighting boosting the process, the algae consumes CO2 from the atmosphere. When it’s ready, it’s automatically transformed into bio-fuel. And to optimize the growth of the algae, the robot arms constantly re-arrange the pods.
Self-powered, self-organizing, self-building, self-optimizing buildings? Let’s just hope they’re not blessed with self-awareness.