Design Probes

Far-future research dialogue by Philips Design

The Swedish artist Erik Sjödin has been experimenting with cultivating Azolla, a moss-like water-floating fern, for food puposes. He started in late 2009 when he was first struck by the aesthetic qualities of Azolla, when he saw it at the Department of Botany at Stockholm University. After he found a Japanese report from JAXA, which pointed out that they were looking at Azolla as a key crop for possible colonisation of Mars, he became interested in the culinary side of it. After experimenting with Azolla burgers and soup during an exhibition at Färgfabriken he visited Masamichi Yamashita, the researcher who wrote the Japanese report. Yamashita's research area was space agriculture and one of the findings of his research was that if you create a system where you grow rice, Azolla, fish and insects, you could produce all the food that a person needs to survive on a surface that is less than 200 square meters. An average American diet requires 21.000 square meters, 105 times more...

Erik Sjödin has a good website, with lots of well documented research on Azolla and is planning to publish an Azolla cookbook in 2011/2012. 

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