photos above by MBARI, CNRS, and Parafilms
Giant Larvaceans are filter-feeding animals in the deep sea who create large "houses" of mucus structures that collect food by filtering tiny particles from the ocean. These creatures unintentionally collect and consume microplastic particles in the deep ocean - long forgotten by humans - which accumulate in larvaceans filters and pass through their fecal pellets, which both carry microplastic particles to the deep seafloor.
Taking inspiration for design from the giant Larvacean, how can we re-design our human houses to filter out pollution, or to be made of biodegradable and living materials? Could human fashion of the future involve large wearable membranes that filter air pollution or block ozone radiation - for the environment, other species and out of necessity? What other organisms and deep sea creatures can we take inspiration from in an era of climate change? What are tactics to keep microplastics from reaching the deep sea? The Bioplastics Cookbook challenges you to create new materials and designs inspired by these creatures using new recipes as activisms and ways of re-visioning the world.
Katija, K., Choy, C. A., Sherlock, R. E., Sherman, A. D. & Robison, B. H. From the surface to the seafloor: How giant larvaceans transport microplastics into the deep sea. Science Advances (2017).