algae as habitat
The Cooper Union
Master of Architecture II | Thesis 2016
Advisor: Diana Agrest, Michael Young
Location: Point Loma, California
Procystis Fusiformis species is one of many algae species in wide range of scales that is closer to microorganisms’ scale (300 nm (=0.0003 mm)). Despite the size, Procystis Fusiformis’s impact to the ocean environment is vast via its inherent quality of bioluminescence which is a natural light emitted from living organism. The thesis uses algae (1) itself (Procystis Fusiformis) as a tool for growing algae (2) (other species) in order to create not only more complex system of flora but also more diverse fauna by providing habitats for macro to microorganisms in sea life.
The combination of the natural element (algae) and the artificial element that is also micro/nano-scale brings light into the deeper sea region where light cannot be absorbed normally. By enabling light distribution, it gives possibilities of algae’s growth and also other micro-organisms, fish, etc who use algae as their habitat and that creates more complex/rich ecological system. The intervention is minimal in physical/visual sense (unable to see the structure during daytime) but the impact on the surroundings is measureless.
An axonometric concept diagram proposing application of algae (nature) themselves as a tool to recover and cultivate algae (nature) to minimize intervention through artificial /nonnative materials. The intervention follows the idea of “inverted mechanism” of algae’s inherent properties and therefore the process starts from the top or surface of the ocean.
A scenario assuming changes few decades through 3 stage sections of underwater indicate the process of changes (from left to right) in kelp forest boundaries after installation of prototypes on site. The first section shows the first scenario when prototypes are just installed and collecting lights that will be distributed throughout deeper part of ocean during night time. The next section is the second scenario which is after few years when changes in the kelp growth starts to be visible. The last section is the third scenario, after few decades or more, when kelps or algae are grown fully and extend the boundaries of their habitat area to much deeper ocean. This new habitat may create more variety of types of algae through their morphological quality to adapt to new environments and conditions. (Scale 1:50,000)