Lead: Rodolphe el-Khoury, Christopher Chung, Veruska Vasconez
Team: Frank Chen, Nika Mirrafie, Claudia Aguado
Proposed for the new Philip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science (2017), the Algae Bio-Display looks to the use of algae and its many beneficial properties – carbon sequestration, water filtration, and its potential use as a biofuel – to be used in a façade system.

We proposed to place algae within 12” x 12” x 2” (H x W x D) transparent boxes, each with individually addressable LEDs, in which through photosynthesis, we can control the rate of growth of the algae housed within each container. The more light that is given to each container, the more it grows; the more it grows, the denser and greener the algae becomes. As a result, each container is a monochromatic pixel that displays varying shades of green over time. When aggregating each individual container across a large surface, like the proposed East elevation of the Philip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science, a pixelized display is created. Over time, by controlling the LEDs to each container, we can create a variety of images.

This algae façade system can be connected to the building’s greywater and HVAC system to filter water and sequester carbon. A mobileapp will be created and used to connect people to the public space, allowing users to keep updated to the progress of the image without physically being there. In addition, the APP allows for public participation in which users can propose images to be displayed, while other users can vote for images that they would like to see grown. Finally, once the image is to be reset, the resultant algae can be used as a biofuel.

A proof of concept prototype was built testing the visualization capabilities of this proposal. See more about the prototype here.

Algae Bio-Display was the winner of the 2017 AIA Miami Unbuilt Project Award.
[click to enlarge]