Furniture you feed: Algae bench concept purifies air

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In the Netherlands, biodesigner Bob Hendrikx has created a bench from algae that helps purify the air, but needs to be regularly fed with phosphate fertilizer. 

On display currently at Soestdijk Palace as part of the Voorlopers exhibition, the Living Bench is an inflatable bioplastic structure filled with 31 gallons of algae water collected from several ponds in the country—including one owned by Hendrikx’s parents. 

“In the forest, everything is an ecosystem, [but] humans, they want to build stuff, so they kill an organism and then work with it,” Hendrikx, whose previous biobased design concepts include mushroom coffins, tells Fast Company. “Let’s switch that up.”