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Algae connects

How can Algae production become an integral part of our lives? And how can Algae systems support disaster relief?

Following strategies of pioneering species in ecosystems, an Algae production system was envisioned for disaster struck areas. With the situation of Haiti as an example, the “Algae-connects” was designed to purify water with algae.

The system starts as a “single-cell”: a quickly applicable water purifier in the form of an Algae wheel. As the community starts rebuilding itself, the stand alone wheels can connect with each other to become a larger super system: the equivalent of a multi-cellular organism. The Algae connects fits in its larger context: it works in concert with other purification systems as a Tilapia farm, composting toilets and solar sterilizers.

The system follows several design principles from Biomimicry that guide the development of sustainable systems: it is resilient by redundancy, can be self-organized into larger structures, builds from the bottom up with modular parts, and can be attuned locally to fit in its direct environment. It can grow and become better over time, as the community rebuilds itself after a disaster.

The Algae connects was an entry for the Algaecompetition 2011. It was developed by means of online collaboration with an international team of Biomimicry specialists, biologists and technologists: Norbert Hoeller (Sustainable Innovation Network), Janet Kubler (California State University Northridge), Karen Verbeek (BioMinds), Kamelia Miteva (Creativity consultant), Mike Westdijk (Studio Mike Westdijk), Fil Salustri (Ryerson University), Damian Rogers (Ryerson University) and Ernst-Jan Mul (IDEAL&CO).