Jacob Douenias and Ethan Frier concretely shape the theme of renewable resources with Living Things. Hosted by the Mattress Factory in Pittsburgh, a contemporary art museum and experimental lab in Pennsylvania, the site-specific installation by the designer duo investigates the interaction between human experience and technology applied to sustainability throughout an approach that is at the same time artistic and scientific.
Living Things mirrors how micro-algae, specifically Spirulina algae, can be harnessed to fuel common household appliances, thanks to their nutritious properties and their wide availability. Capable of recycling light, heat and carbon, this material is contained by hand-blown glass vessels connected to each other with a system of hidden wiring and plumbing. Each vessel can be managed separately from a control centre, which is comprised of a series of knobs to reveal the mechanics behind the process. The entire space aims to mimic the typical house interiors, and presents a division in living room, kitchen and dining room.