Imagining a zero carbon city "Habitat One: Sustainable Shelter" the innovative collaboration between ecoLogicStudio and Hyundai Motor Company

Habitat One ecoLogicStudio Hyundai Motorstudio Seoul ©Yoon Joonhwan
Imagining a zero carbon city "Habitat One: Sustainable Shelter" the innovative collaboration between ecoLogicStudio and Hyundai Motor Company it has been modified: 2023-04-06 di Benedetto Fiori

Innovative London-based architecture and design studio ecoLogicStudio, in collaboration with Hyundai Motor Company, presents its first solo exhibition in Korea, “Habitat One: Sustainable Shelter” offering an opportunity to imagine a zero-emission city. This exhibition follows the success of the first Habitat One exhibition in Busan, Korea. The exhibition was opened on March 18, 2023 at Hyundai Motorstudio Seoul.

Hyundai Motor Company, committed to the goal of achieving a zero-carbon world, expressed the hope that this collaboration with ecoLogicStudio could provide an opportunity to imagine a sustainable future for the new generation by combining creativity and technology.

The exhibition invites visitors to experience the possibilities of living in a zero-carbon world and features three recent creations: Tree One, a 3D printed and photosynthetic three-dimensional sculpture, two visionary artificial intelligence videos, and the urban Bio Lab.

According to Claudia Pasquero, co-founder with Marco Poletto of ecoLogicStudio, imagining a city with zero carbon emissions implies the complete redefinition of all our production, construction and waste recycling processes. It is not enough to consider upgrading a contemporary city through the application of new green technologies, but we have to imagine and visualize new photosynthetic processes that will determine its future growth. Biodigital design and construction technology are necessary tools in the evolution of a circular model of architecture as a synthetic organism. This metabolic circularity underlies the construction of a zero-carbon city.

At Hyundai Motorstudio Seoul, on the facade of the iconic building, which will be illuminated by a bright green aura for the occasion, ecoLogicStudio projects an unprecedented video of artificial intelligence, entitled "Habitat One: The architecture of the city with zero carbon emissions ”, specially developed and designed for the exhibition. In its seemingly endless loop, the video simulates different scenarios for Seoul's evolution into a zero-carbon city. In a multi-layered cyclical process, the city grows through the remetabolisation of urban air pollution, waste and CO2. High-density metropolitan clusters are populated by ski-gardens, bio-buildings and finally by luxuriant urban forests to evolve into new built landscapes. Trees and buildings alternate, literally evolving from one another, following the circular pattern inaugurated by the Tree One sculpture.

At the center of the main hall is Tree One, a living sculpture designed by artificial intelligence and grown using digital biological methods. The sculpture captures carbon molecules and stores them in the trunk and canopy, releasing oxygen into the atmosphere.

The Tree One exhibited at the Hyundai Motorstudio in Seoul integrates 40 glass photobioreactors hosting 500 liters of Cyanidium algae cultures. These can capture as much carbon dioxide as 12 large trees, equivalent to a small urban forest.

The main structure of Tree One was designed by algorithms capable of recognizing tree systems, which negotiated the architectural logic of the column. The trunk of Tree One is entirely made with seaweed-based biopolymers and its resistance mainly derives from the unique pleated morphology inspired by the fibrous trunk of real trees. The construction was made possible thanks to a state-of-the-art robotic 3D printing process. The fibrous system continues into the large 3D printed canopy in the form of hundreds of thin shading branches that hover above the gallery floor, near the mezzanine gallery.

The gallery is occupied by the Bio Lab, which presents the bio-digital synthesis process of Tree One and the carbon neutral city. Designed as an open laboratory, the Bio Lab features the proprietary bio-design innovation developed to create Tree One. It is the educational component of the exhibition, which aims to inspire visitors by showcasing the tangible research and innovation that ecoLogicStudio is currently conducting to make the sustainable design visions promoted by the exhibition a reality.

At the entrance of the Bio Lab there is a PhotoSynthetica reactor wall which integrates a biomass collection system. The PhotoSynthetica reactor wall is fed by nutrients from the Biosphere and pollutants from the Urbansphere. Visitors can then follow the steps of the bio-polymerization process, to view a catalog of biomaterial samples, several large-scale 3D printed biodegradable products, prototypes, and an instructional video on Tree One synthesis.

On display at Hyundai Motorstudio Seoul through May 2023, ecoLogicStudio's Habitat One will bring an immersive and vibrant vision of the future carbon-neutral civilization. Art, science and technology come together in an extraordinary exhibition that makes us reflect on the importance of sustainability and innovation for our planet.

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