Phyto printing is a process in which a light projection is used to control the growth of phytoplankton to create high resolution prints and living materials that breath and metabolize. My project’s mission is to design a phyto printer to make this process accessible to designers, artists and makers, giving them the opportunity to explore the possibilities of this new bio fabrication process and enable them to develop a huge range of applications.
The printer can operate with a variety of materials, such as textiles, ceramics and paper. It is designed to be easily accessible to it’s users and adaptable to different settings. Additionally, the growth process can be observed. Phytoplankton, as the (living) ink, can be found in all environments and appear in a wide variety of colours. A tool-kit was designed to help extracting wild strains from the user’s environment
We urgently need to rethink how we use materials and processing techniques to stop relying on non renewable polluting resources. As designers, we need to develop new techniques that create materials that bio-remediate the air and produce oxygen. The Phyto printer is a tool that allows designers to come up with new answers. The use of local algae strains will provide inspiration to the users on how to incorporate local biodiversity into design processes. Can we create fabrics that capture more carbon dioxide in their life cycle than they consume in their production? Can we create green urban spaces according to our ideas? Can we replace toxic inks with a living breathing organism? To find answers to these questions, I would like to give the design world a tool set to create a more sustainable future.