This past semester the Interactive Telecommunications Graduate Program at NYU’s Tisch school conducted its first ever course in living systems, which encouraged students to take on projects related to ecology, environmental data management, and, obviously, living systems. After six months of field trips (including a visit to Inhabitat favorite, The Omega Institute), in-depth discussions, and in most cases, very late nights on computers guided by Open Source Cities’ Marc Alt, the results were incredible. From location-based socially networked computer plants, to human breast milk, to moss-shrouded air-quality monitor polygons, the students covered almost every base possible – read on for a look!
Planting Steps is a fully-functional household hydroponic farm composed of 4 modular shelves that create a viable ebb-and-flow hydroponic system for your living room. Waterfalls between tanks provide a meditative aural experience while feeding plants a hydroponic solution periodically throughout the day.
ITPWC developed and constructed a bathroom aquaponic system using the concepts behind John Todd’s Eco-Machines to filter pollutants in the bathroom air. Built out of laser-cut plastic and 5 gallon water bottles, the system is divided into 4 cells: aquaculture, phytoremediation, aquatic remediation, and a bio-filter that creates a seemingly closed ecosystem. Dracaena, Boston Fern, and English Ivy absorb chemicals in the air while algae and anaerobic bacteria in other cells break down potential toxic chemicals in the water. Interior air quality is monitored and uploaded in real-time to the open source online environmental sensor database Pachube.com.