Island Chen Develops the Blue Island Bioluminescent Algae Installation

[Taiwan] Matsu is a small Taiwanese island located along the eastern coast of China. Isolated in the sea, the atoll has had little potential for economic development. For the most part, the development is left far behind its mother country, the Republic of China. Not until an unique strain of bioluminescent microalgae began to bloom along its shores. Scientifically referred to dinoflagellates, the microalgae cause the surface of the ocean to sparkle in deep ethereal blue fluorescence at night. This spectacular scene has attracted thousands of tourists, and has become an integral symbol within its local culture.

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The frequency, duration, and relative intensity of the natural phenomenon is directly attributed to nutrient pollution. Beautiful at nightfall, the algae curdles the water and feast upon microorganisms in the water. The presence of these algae increases the ammonia levels in the sea. Together with tons of floating trash and industrial waste, they are capable of destroying marine life and threatening human health.

The ‘Blue Island’ is a bio-digital installation designed by Island Chen, recreating the dinoflagellates’ habitat in a contained environment. Mimicking the microalgae marine habitat polluted by agricultural wastes, the installation is equipped with a roof bound fresnel lens — to increase photosynthesis energy. ‘Blue Island’ is also designed to be an educational tool. This allows people understand that the microalgae is harmful, despite the fact that it could be aesthetically pleasing as well. Blue island is also considered as a safer and viable option to promote the eco-tourism industry.

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Blue Island’s sketch
Installation prototype
Blue Island prototype
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Fresnel lens as the roof of installation, for increasing light intake

 

The algae culture running over the installation, creating blue luminescence
The algae culture running over the installation, creating blue luminescence
The installation aims to educate people to associate algae with environmental pollution rather than its beauty.
The installation aims to educate people to associate algae with environmental pollution rather than its beauty.

 

Photo: video courtesy of Island Chen

View original article at: Island Chen Develops the Blue Island Bioluminescent Algae Installation

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