2017


How do we slow down fast fashion? By speeding it up. The Algae-Matron 3000 is the washing machine of the future designed to revolutionize the way we design, produce, and interact with clothing. Its functions include custom dyeing clothing with safe, sustainable, ephemeral pigments derived from the algae Galdieria sulphuraria. In order to avoid impinging upon clean water sources, the Algae-Matron 3000 would also be connected to a closed cycle home water recycling system or centralized system that utilizes the bioremediative properties of Galdieria sulphuraria to purify and recycle the water consumed.


http://algaematron.com/index.html

Finalist at the 2017 Biodesign Challenge, representing the Maryland Institute College of Art


Collaboration among Erin Kirchner, Emary Parisi, Rachel Rusk, & Sydney Sieh-Takata

Scientific Consultation courtesy of J. Casey Lippmeier

Opportunity to create this work courtesy of Ryan Hoover, BUGSS, and the

Biodesign Challenge









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Illustration of the process of extracting phycocyanin from 

G. sulphuraria

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Image of pigment extracted from the algae Galdieria sulphuraria

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Detail shot of dye tests performed with extracted phycocyanin on various fibers

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Digital rendering of the Algae-Matron 3000

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Video that explains the user's experience with the Algae Matron 3000 and how it works 

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Visual diagram of the Algae-Matron Home Water Recycling System

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Visual diagram of the dye's life cycle

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Not only does the Algae-Matron 3000 respond to the problem of dye pollution practically, it also represents our proposed cultural shift in how we as a society interact with clothing. The pigments derived from Galdieria sulphuraria are not UV stable and will fade to white after 10-24 hours of direct sunlight. In response to fast fashion with people buying large amounts of cheaply made clothing and then disposing of them in landfills where they produce methane, we propose that people instead own fewer but more well-made garments that they can customize with algae dyes. People will be empowered to participate in the design of their clothes, but designers will still be involved by creating suggested color and design templates for customers to download to their Algae-Matron 3000 and dye their clothing. ×
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Sample Algae-Matron garment in packaging

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Algae-Matron Center Diagram 

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