Design and microalgae. Sustainable systems for cities


  • Pier Paolo Peruccio Polytechnic of Torino
  • Maurizio Vrenna Polytechnic of Torino



microalgae, urban production, limits and possibilities, product/service/system, sustainability


New practices linked to biological sciences are emerging in the world of design and architecture. In recent years various interventions have involved the use of living organisms and biomaterials even in an urban context. This essay analyzes those projects that have entailed the use of microalgae, tracing their limits and possibilities. The guidelines for the implementation of similar projects at the level of products or small installations are also defined. From the perspective of designing for the benefit of citizens and given the countless properties of microalgae, solutions of this kind and innovative integrated services could be a way to mitigate the environmental, but also social and economic problems, of present and future cities.


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Author Biographies

Pier Paolo Peruccio, Polytechnic of Torino

Architect and PhD, he is an Associate Professor at the Department of Architecture and Design. He is Vice Head of the Design School, Director of the SYDERE (Systemic Design Research and Education) Center in Lyon (France), and Coordinator of the II Level Specializing Master in Design for Arts. He is currently working on several research projects concerning the history of sustainable design, systems thinking, and innovation in design education.

Maurizio Vrenna, Polytechnic of Torino

PhD Student in Management, Production, and Design at the Department of Architecture and Design. During the professional and academic career in Europe and Asia, he has been involved in the development of sustainable products and services. His current research revolves around the topics of air pollution and microalgae production in urban areas.


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People gathering and chatting under the Algae Dome in Copenhagen, 2017 (credit: N. A. Vindelev, 2017). AGATHÒN 06 | 2019




How to Cite

Peruccio, P. P. and Vrenna, M. (2019) “Design and microalgae. Sustainable systems for cities”, AGATHÓN | International Journal of Architecture, Art and Design, 6(online), pp. 218–227. doi: 10.19229/2464-9309/6212019.



Design | Essays & Viewpoint