Community Projects


Harpreet Sareen (US/IN/JP), Franziska Mack (DE/US), Yasuaki Kakehi (JP)

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Urban environments and manicured nature, with unseen native diversity, have resulted in forgotten evolutionary histories and a reduced understanding of ecosystem relations. In this context, especially the aquatic plant biosphere is the object of collective amnesia. Algaphon is a hybrid installation where algae bubbles that ring at Minnaert frequency near algal filaments are rendered audible through a hydrophone. Online visitors can leave a voice message that is translated into photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) variations in a remote aquarium. The algae bubble’s response to human speech is then recorded and emailed back to the visitor to engage in a reflective dialog with algal species. The installation refocuses attention on nonvascular physiological mechanisms and invites viewers to think about how environments exist in a heightened dynamic to adapt to human actions.

Harpreet Sareen (US/IN/JP): Harpreet Sareen is a scientist-designer who creates bionic materials and hybrid substrates for the fabrication of future ecological machinery, sensing systems and interaction design.

Franziska Mack (DE/US): Franziska Mack is a multidisciplinary designer and researcher based in New York, where she is currently pursuing an MFA at Parsons School of Design.

Yasuaki Kakehi (JP): Yasuaki Kakehi is a media artist, HCI researcher and Associate Professor at The University of Tokyo. By combining digital technology and physical materials, he has created installation works that show alternative ways of experiencing environments and objects.


Yasuaki Kakehi Laboratory, The University of Tokyo
Supported by JSPS KAKENHI (Grant Number 20H05960)
With auxiliary support from Parsons School of Design and Stochastic Labs