portfolio — ida flik
University project


An interactive installation about the potential and limits of algae

Algae is a trending topic as it has a lot of fascinating potential. As a plant that doesn't compete with other crops for land and grows much faster, it is very attractive for food, livestock feed, biofuel production and for compensating CO2.

However, these facts are often inaccurately presented as an all-in-one solution ready to solve major contemporary challenges like the climate crisis, future food security and ecologically sustainable energy production. This simplified narrative is dangerous when it exaggerates researchers‘ ability to solve problems; it allows us to push away responsibilty by trusting science to find solutions through technological innovation.

Through this project, I aimed to examine how capable algae really are of tackling the above-mentioned global issues. In order to do this, i posed very hypothetical, quantitative questions like "how much algae does a car need to be CO2-neutral?" and collected the relevant figures for calculating answers from research publications. The results were then translated into animated scenes from a fictional but imaginable world.

The animations were presented both in a spacial setting with an interactive installation (where different questions could be selected through an analogue interface) as well as in a digital version on a website.

Part of the microbes exhibition which was shown at Burg Giebichenstein, Halle (Saale) in July 2017 and the Milan Design Week in April 2018.