The Coral, The First Micro-farm Of Algae For Domestic Use

Hyunseok An, a student at the Rhode Island School of Design, has created a prototype indoor micro-farm of algae in an attempt to sustainably and beautifully integrate algae into our everyday lives.

Dubbed “The Coral” for its coral-shaped pattern, the microfarm takes the form of a four-by-four gridded bioreactor that can be mounted on the wall like a work of art. The algae that grow inside each square component are made visible through transparent containers so that we can watch the algae grow and change color.

In 1974, at the United Nations World Food Conference, algae was declared ” the ideal food for humanity ” due to its rich nutritional composition; however, popular opinion often dismisses these superfoods without scientific argument.

Hyunseok An, who is pursuing a master’s degree in industrial design at RISD, wants to change our perception of seaweed and publicize its health and environmental benefits.

Algae, which grow rapidly with little care, are also praised for their ability to sequester carbon at an uptake rate estimated to be 10 times that of land plants.

The Coral is made up of 16 cells arranged in a grid pattern with two grams of algae in each culture cell – the recommended daily intake amount.

Each cell replenishes its stock every two weeks so that users always have access to sustainable food. As the algae grow and replenish, the cell changes color from light to various shades of green.

Through its use and experience indoors, The Coral aims to change the preconceived idea of ​​algae, suggesting a socially acceptable way to reconnect with algae and introduce it into our daily lives. By doing so, The Coral can help us take a step forward towards a better and more sustainable way of life for ourselves and for our world.

Hyunseok An.

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