Plant support lattices.
Currently many majors’ cities follow new trends in urbanization. One increasingly more common feature is including elements of vegetation into design patterns. We propose to create a set of modular components for use as a support structures for plants. These structures should provide lot of surface area, as one possible use is delivering vegetation to place where space is at scarce, like central areas of the big cities. . Caterpillar’s ornamental shapes on the back inspired initial artistic concept. These structures is likely to be an indicator to potential predators of poisonous qualities of an insect. It is not only a good example of real life use of biomimetic, its conical shape provides excellent surface area to volume ration.
As we work in a team with different roles and capabilities, each member has unique input and role at different stages of the product development. My responsibility is to make the structure more as practically viable as possible.
I explored several possibilities to add science to the raw art. First, surface area maximization is a paramount in this project. Nature and math provide us with a good tool to do so – fractals. Basic concept of fractal is a structure where every part is similar in shape and arranged hierarchically in size. Use of conical fractal would maximize surface area, allowing the lattice to habit more plants or algae. I plan to create mathematical model (MATLAB programming environment is a good way to do it) to compare different types of fractal model, to find the optimal one.
Other factor is obviously material. As this is an eco-project we would want our structure to have a lowest possible carbon footprint. We are now exploring possibilities of using mycelium. This novel material has a great capacity to withstand compression and as recent work showed, can be transformed to supercapacitor material to store energy. Thus, our lattices can not only be used for decorative purposes, but when coupled with solar batteries or other similar technology could be compact power stations. This way they could be used in natrual enviroments, to allow tourirst acceces to eco-charging of their devices.
Other use I wan to exsplore is coupling thestructure with water condensating equipment, so these structures can be introduced as oasis to desert and arid enviroments.
Hao, J., Huang, Y., He, C., Xu, W., Yuan, L., Shu, D., & Song, X. (2018). Bio-templated fabrication of three-dimensional network activated carbons derived from mycelium pellets for supercapacitor applications. Scientific Reports, (June 2017), 1–9. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-18895-6
Krzemińska, A., Zaręba, A., & Dzikowska, A. (2017). Bioarchitecture – a new vision of energy sustainable cities, 91, 1–7. https://doi.org/10.1051/e3sconf/20172200091