Alcyon is a student-project, realised at the Dessau Department of Design under the supervision of Prof. Manuel Kretzer and in cooperation with German car manufacturer AUDI. The project considers the future of mobility and how upcoming technologies, such as autonomous driving, might affect the relationship between driver and vehicle. Arguing that a car's interior will dynamically shift in between different usages and occupations, such as working, relaxation or meeting/ communication, the students propose a vision of a new type of middle console; a hybrid in between a living creature and a functional object. Derived from the latin word alcyoneum (coral), the project's name is vicarious for both its distinct - computationally generated - shape and materiality. The prototype, which is roughly 60 x 60 x 30 cm, was 3D printed form a novel biodegradable algae filament. In addition to practical aspects, such as its use as a table or tray, the complex structure also forms the base to grow reindeer lichen (cladonia rangiferina) – an organism consisting of algae and fungi, living in symbiosis without the need for human intervention. Lichen in this case are used as bioindicators for air quality while the algae provides oxygen through photosynthesis, impacting and improving the indoor climate and thus generating a better working and living environment. Alcyon creates a piece of nature inside the smallest urban space and decelerates everyday life through its haptics, looks and its liveliness both emotionally and visually.
Hang Li, Martin Naumann, Luise Oppelt, Toni Pasternak, Anian Stoib