these 3D-printed plant sculptures by External Reference + LaMáquina double as air purifiers

these 3D-printed plant sculptures by External Reference + LaMáquina double as air purifiers

3D-printed pure plants by external reference + lamáquina 

 

External Reference is a multidisciplinary architecture studio specializing in experiential spaces that break the boundaries between architecture, art, and high technology. For its latest project, exhibited during Milan Design Week 2023, the studio has applied its expertise to the concept and design of Pure Plants — a collection of floral sculptures 3D-printed by Barceloba-based practice LaMáquina using an innovative material capable of absorbing CO2 and thus purifying the air, either indoors or outdoors. 

these 3D-printed plant sculptures by External Reference + LaMáquina double as air purifiers
Pure Plants collection | image © Germán Saiz 

 

 

neutralizing c02 and other compounds using pure.tech 

 

In the intersection between organic morphologies and new technologies, art and nature, and design and sustainability, External Reference (see more here), led by Carmelo Zappulla, has created a collection of sculptures in the form of plants that evoke real species and can purify the air thanks to the use of Pure.Tech technology. LaMáquina (see more here) materialized the Pure Plants designs using parametric design tools and 3D printing, enabling the transformation of the natural laws of phyllotaxis, a characteristic of leaves, into living sculptures. By combining Pure.Tech technology with PLA, a bioplastic made from corn dextrose (sugar), the team successfully created a 100% natural mineral compound that can absorb and neutralize CO2, nitrogen oxides (NOx), and volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

 

When I started thinking about this project, I imagined myself visiting fantastic places, immersed in a deep ocean, discovering paths among the trees of a forest or floating among the clouds. Places that could belong to the microscopic or macroscopic world. Sometimes the landscapes were natural, sometimes urban or industrial structures. The interpretation of these worlds into complex geometric patterns and parametric systems has continuously guided my work. As in nature, I am interested in the spaces and objects I design changing over time. I want them to have performative elements,’ shares Carmelo Zappulla. 

these 3D-printed plant sculptures by External Reference + LaMáquina double as air purifiers
image © Germán Saiz

 

 

developing the air-purifying collection since 2021 

 

In 2020, the studio launched the project by presenting the first Christmas tree made with the smart biomaterial Pure.Tech, capable of absorbing more than 15 kg of CO2 per year through photolysis. Based on this experience, in 2021, External Reference expanded the family of purifying plants in different formats, colors, and species to promote sustainability and improve the quality of the air to breathe by combining advanced technology and a creative approach. Prior to its appearance during Milan Design Week 2023, Pure Plants were first presented at Dubai Design Week in November 2021 and were exhibited in Spain at the Design+Health exhibition organized by World Design Capital Valencia in 2022

these 3D-printed plant sculptures by External Reference + LaMáquina double as air purifiers
image © Germán Saiz

these 3D-printed plant sculptures by External Reference + LaMáquina double as air purifiers
turning the natural laws of phyllotaxis into living sculptures | image © Germán Saiz

these 3D-printed plant sculptures by External Reference + LaMáquina double as air purifiers
image © Germán Saiz

pure-plants-living-sculptures-designboom-full-2

these 3D-printed plant sculptures by External Reference + LaMáquina double as air purifiers
image © Germán Saiz

these 3D-printed plant sculptures by External Reference + LaMáquina double as air purifiers
image © Germán Saiz

pure-plants-living-sculptures-designboom-full-1

image by LaMáquina

these 3D-printed plant sculptures by External Reference + LaMáquina double as air purifiers
3D-printing process | image by LaMáquina

these 3D-printed plant sculptures by External Reference + LaMáquina double as air purifiers
image by LaMáquina

pure-plants-living-sculptures-designboom-full-6

image courtesy LaMáquina

 

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project info:

 

name: Pure Plants

design and research: External Reference @externalreference

lead designer: Carmelo Zappulla 

3D-printing: LaMáquina@lamaquina_3d

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