Algaculture (2010)


Alternative ways to fuel the body

Algaculture designs a new symbiotic relationship between humans and algae. It proposes a future where humans will be enhanced with algae living inside new bodily organs, allowing us to be semi-photosynthetic. Almost enabling us to become plant-like by gaining food from light. As such, we will be symbionts (meaning that both entities entirely depend on each other for survival), entering into a mutually beneficial relationship with the algae.

Why design new food on what we have now, when we could re-design how we fuel the body altogether?





Near future algaculture symbiosis suit





Far future New bodily organs

This scenario is, among other sources, inspired by the work of scientists Debora MacKenzie and Michael Le Page who wrote about photosynthetic creatures, or what they call “plantimals” in the New Scientist (2010). Such photosynthetic organisms currently include lichen, sea slugs and salamanders that welcome algae into their bodies, in a partnership called endosymbiosis.







Performance by Noah Young, Narration by Samuel Lewis




Far future Algaculture Solarium. Stroom Den Haag, Netherlands, 2012



See also



Supported by



The Feast After Agri

After Agri (2011)

Algaculture is a part of the bigger project After Agri, an investigation into future evolutions to our food systems.

After Agri reflects the rich tapestry of how food has shaped human evolution, cultures and environments. The project draws on varied areas of science, from nutrigenomics to geophysics, to give an insight into how the body and city has naturally developed to our most basic and primal need – eat and survive. Based on this research, it looks into a future of how humans might re-design their relationship with fuelling the body through physical enhancements and redesigning culture. To bring these scenarios to life, we create pieces featuring a feast after agriculture, using filmic storytelling, graphics, animation, designed artefacts, costume and performance. It features artefacts and designed systems from each of the scenarios below and diagrammatic maps of the food cultures in the future.


A world map of the Feast After Agri, year 3000

Other cultures in After Agri



Algaculture Press list



ISBN-10: 9056628542 Food for the city, featuring Algaculture by NAi publishers, Stroom Den Haag, 2012, the Netherland

ISBN-10: 1906908192 Material Futures 01 by University of the Arts London, 29 Nov 2012, UK


NOW THEN Issue7. OCT - NOV 2013

PiePaper Pie "Food" issue, New Zealand

Article Cómo alimentar las ciudades del mañana on magazine Tapa pul, August 2012


The Observer, Technology monthly September issue, Sunday 15th September, UK

Le Soir CULTURE section, Mercredi 20 Mars 2013 issue, Belgium

Plantmens kan leven van licht, NRC HANDELSBLAD, January 2012, The Netherland

TV / Film TRACKS: Mutant Food by Justine Gourichon, aired on 17th May 2013 (French / German)

Online article highlights


Discovery News: Food Helmet Sustains You With Algae by Nic Halverson, 13th August 2013

Fox News: Helmet grows food, keeps you fed with algae, 14th August 2013

Fastcodesign: This face hugging helmet feeds you algae all day long by John Brownlee, 20th August, 2013 An algae suit that feeds the wearer by Michelle Starr, 13th August 2013

Ecouterre: Algaculture: A Symbiosis Suit That Uses Algae to Grow Food From Light by Lori Zimmer, 9th August 2013 Algaculture: Michael Burton & Michiko Nitta, 13th March, 2013 The Algaculture Symbiosis Suit Algae suit generates food to feed your constant hunger, Colin Druce-McFadden, 12th August 2013 Algaculture Symbiosis Suit Creates Nourishment For its Wearer, Charley Cameron, 10th August 2013

Treehugge:, Eating sunlight: Algaculture suit proposes symbiotic bond between humans and algae, Kimberley Mok, 16th August 2013

SIERRA magazine: Edible Opera: How Artists Turn Music into a Meal, Ailsa Sachdev, 27th August 2013 Algae suit generates food to feed your constant hunger by Colin Druce-McFadden, August 12, 2013 Algaculture Symbiosis Suit Creates Nourishment For its Wearer by Charley Cameron, August 10th, 2013 Algaculture, Philippa Wagner, August 1st, 2012


DER TAGESSPIEGEL: Algen-Anzug als Küche der Zukunft, Georg Schemitsch, 20th August 2013

Japanese すっげぇSF...! 吐息で食用の藻を育てられるマスク『Algaculture』, 2013年8月18日

アメーバニュース、すっげぇSF...! 吐息で食用の藻を育てられるマスク『Algaculture』、2013年8月18日

excitejapan, すっげぇSF...! 吐息で食用の藻を育てられるマスク『Algaculture』、2013年8月18日

msnトピックス: すっげぇSF...! 吐息で食用の藻を育てられるマスク『Algaculture』 2013年8月22日



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