H.O.R.T.U.S. XL Astaxanthin.g: Material System

H.O.R.T.U.S. XL Astaxanthin.g is a large scale, high-resolution 3D printed bio-sculpture receptive to both human and non-human life. Commisioned by Centre Pompidou for the Mutations/Creations exhibition, this project confronts the dictates of human rationality with the effects of proximity to bio-artificial intelligence. It is developed in "collaboration" with living organisms. Their non-human agency is mediated by spatial substructures we have developed while studying biological models of endosymbiosis.


The 3d printed material system is developed by the means of a digital algorithm which simulates the growth of a substratum inspired by collective coral morphogenesis. This is physically deposited by 3D printing machines in layers of 400 microns, supported by triangular cells of 46 mm and divided in hexagonal blocks of 18.5 cm. Photosynthetic cyanobacteria are inoculated on a biogel medium into the individual triangular cells, or bio-pixel, forming the units of biological intelligence of the system. 


Their metabolisms, powered by photosynthesis, convert radiation into actual oxygen and biomass. The density-value of each bio-pixel is digitally computed in order to optimally arrange the photosynthetic organisms along iso-surfaces of increased incoming radiation. Among the oldest organisms on Earth, cyanobacteria's unique biological intelligence is therefore gathered as part of a new form of bio-digital architecture.



Design: ecoLogicStudio (Claudia Pasquero, Marco Poletto, Konstantinos Alexopoulos, Matteo Baldissara, Michael Brewster)
Research partner for biological as well as 3d printed systems and production development: Synthetic Landscape Lab, IOUD, Innsbruck University (Prof. Claudia Pasquero, Maria Kuptsova, Terezia Greskova, Emiliano Rando, Jens Burkart, Niko Jabadari, Simon Posch); 
Research partner for 3d printed systems and production development: CREATE Group / WASP Hub Denmark - University of Southern Denmark (SDU) (Prof. Roberto Naboni, Furio Magaraggia)
Engineering: YIP structural engineering, Manja Van De Worp
Microalgal Medium Material Support: Ecoduna AG
3D printing Material Support: Extrudr