B-Pro Show 2020
Autumn Show 2020

Project sections

Algae Anatomy

Project details

Research Cluster RC5/6

This research explores the structural, spatial, and expressive potential of green macroalgae as a multi-material fabrication system. The research deals with the specific type of algae classified as ‘green macroalgae’ which can become a marine hazard through blooms and yet has the potential to be exploited as a resource. Through rigorous material testing and research, a lightweight, rigid component was created from compressing and curing green macroalgae. Using this material to drive a design approach, the project proposes an ecovillage to be located in an existing village township in Ningbo, China. The ecovillage will serve as a link between the villages within the township, encouraging interaction between residents and visitors and activating the existing landscape through a component-based architecture system. Baiyucun township and its residents are surrounded by an abundance of this algae. The proposed architecture questions the existing relationship with the material and proposes alternative uses, exploiting algae as building material that can engage with structure, light, and inhabitation.


Material Research

Material Properties and Application

A visualisation of the material ecologies of red and green algae.

Economic and Environmental Impacts of Algae

The positive and negative economic and environmental impacts of algae are connected to its physical attributes and growth rate.

Algae Harvesting

Visual Properties of Algae


Material Testing

Algae Sheet Tests

A series of physical tests of algae sheets with different mixtures and visual properties.

Algae Block Tests

A series of physical prototypes test algae blocks with different mixtures and visual physical properties.

Aggregation of Algae Blocks

Algae and Material Mixtures

A series of compression blocks of algae and material mixtures, testing variegation and textural properties.


Composite Studies and Aggregation

Material Mixtures

Varying proportions of algae and clay mix in block form.

Aggregating Components: Three Variations

A digital simulation exploring combinations of three variegated algae blocks in spatial aggregations.

Aggregating Components: Four Variations

A digital simulation exploring combinations of four variegated algae blocks in spatial aggregations.

Topological Optimisation

A visualisation of the topological optimisation of material distribution in algae block formations using variegated blocks.


Architectural Application

Project Overview

Project Overview

Spaces for Resting

Spaces for Communal Living

Algae Block Settlements

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Index of Works

The Bartlett
B-Pro & Autumn Shows 2020
27 November – 11 December 2020