yfalos: modular artificial reef enhances degraded marine ecosystems

yfalos: modular artificial reef enhances degraded marine ecosystems

 

yfalos aims to increase bio-diversity in sea environments

 

yfalos project is a modular artificial reef structure that fuses innovative and circular design solutions in an effort to enhance degraded marine ecosystems. the structure creates a habitat for endangered marine species without the need for heavy-duty machinery. topotheque utilized generatively designed cementitious blocks that are digitally fabricated and can be deployed from small boats and installed by divers.

 

yfalos examines how circular design strategies combined with computational design methods and digital fabrication techniques can be used to provide solutions for the design and construction of artificial reef structures, such as human-made structures that are designed to mimic some of the characteristics of a natural reef. advantages of artificial reef creation include but are not limited to: increase of marine life biodiversity in coastal areas with featureless bottoms by creating habitat for different marine species and by preventing illegal fishing (like troweling) as well as stimulation of local economies by drawing more divers’ tourism.

yfalos: artificial reef enhances degraded marine ecosystems
yfalos’s primary prototype was constructed at fab lab ioannina with the use of CNC fabricated molds and is installed off the coast of paxos island in greece

all images courtesy of topotheque

 

 

artificial reef: a rigid structure inspired by coral-texture 

 

topotheque design studio (found here) has partnered with fab lab Ioannina (here) and seastainable ventures to research artificial reefs and come up with different geometric configurations in order to provide know-how on the design, fabrication and deployment of such structures. the collaboration focused on developing a file-to-factory workflow that allows the generative design of the geometry and the texture of building blocks that can vary in size and complexity but can be combined in different ways in order to create aggregate structures.

 

the blocks employ an interlocking design that allows for simple construction by stacking in three directions and thus create a rigid structure through reciprocity. their geometry is optimized to minimize material usage and maximize surface-to-volume ratio, a requirement put forward by marine biologists. meanwhile, the block’s surface geometry is derived from corals’ textures and can be parametrically manipulated to achieve different levels of rugosity, which is critical for the growth of algae on top of it.

yfalos: artificial reef enhances degraded marine ecosystems
the first stage of testing has been completed successfully in 2020 and the implementation of a larger artificial reef structure in the mediterranean sea comprised of 1000 modules is currently underway

 

 

any coastal area with degraded marine ecosystems is a potential construction site

 

due to the fact that the construction site for an artificial reef can be any coastal area on the globe that faces degradation of its marine life, special emphasis was put on three points. first on developing a bio-inspired design method which allows the adaptation of the form and texture based on the context, then being able to fabricate the blocks with infrastructure and means that exist locally, and last, distilling the basic design parameters and creating a web-based platform/tool; that can generate different 3D aggregate structures based on the specific circumstances, produce fabrication files and assembly instructions necessary to guide members of local communities with no prior experience for constructing it.

 

yfalos: artificial reef enhances degraded marine ecosystems
deployment of prototypical reef modules by local free divers

 

yfalos was awarded first prize by the barcelona chamber of commerce under the auspices of 4helix interreg program which enables small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to implement innovative solutions that support sustainable development by connecting them with companies that possess design expertise and work at the forefront of technology. the first stage of the project included developing the aforementioned workflow in close collaboration with a team of marine biologists and economists and validating it through the design, fabrication, and testing of different module geometries.  

yfalos-modular-reef-design-enhancing-degraded-marine-ecosytems-topotheque-designboom-1800

yfalos: modular artificial reef enhances degraded marine ecosystems
close up view of the artificial reef structure

 

 

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yfalos: modular artificial reef enhances degraded marine ecosystems
 
yfalos: modular artificial reef enhances degraded marine ecosystems
 
top and front view of the basic aggregate module
top and front view of the basic aggregate module
surface detail of the reef module
surface detail of the reef module
material and surface studies
material and surface studies
generation of numerous design alternatives based on the computational modeling of minimal surfaces
generation of numerous design alternatives based on the computational modeling of minimal surfaces
aggregation rules for stacking the reef modules and proposed structure
aggregation rules for stacking the reef modules and proposed structure
workflow diagram illustrating the circular design to production process
workflow diagram illustrating the circular design to production process

project info:

 

name: yfalos
designer: topotheque

design team: evangelos pantazis, iason pantazis

fabrication: fab lab ioannina 

client: seastainable ventures

 

 

designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissionsfeature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

 

edited by: christina petridou | designboom

 

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