project overview

Bloom is a biotech wearable that allows the user to incorporate bio-enhanced algae into their repository system. It is embedded with a micro-hydro pump powered by a bioreactor that ensures continuous vital flow for the algae. There is a synthetic membrane that allows user and algae to breathe in tandem. The collapsible design is a choice for both fashion and functionality.


about algae

Algae is a simple nonflowering plant of a large group that includes the seaweeds and many single-celled forms. Algae contain chlorophyll but lack true stems, roots, leaves, and vascular tissue.

People often associate algae with algal bloom, An algal bloom is a rapid increase or accumulation in the population of algae in freshwater or marine water systems, and is recognized by the discoloration in the water from their pigments; a algae blooms can lead to fish die-offs, cities cutting off water to residents, or states having to close fisheries.

However, algae have many benefits to people as well; for instance, all algae produce 70%-80% of the oxygen on the planet and green, and blue and green algae can be used as superfoods.

Kuan wondered how he can bring algae into the city and introduce it to the city dwellers.  In fact, the Bio Intelligent Quotient building already gives its answer. The building is covered with an algae tank that is regulating the temperature within the building.

After learning what algae are capable of doing, Kuan wondered whether he can build an adaptor for humans to incorporate algae into their respiratory system so that humans can enjoy all the benefit algae provides (oxygen, temperature regulating, food ) while only exhaling carbon dioxide. 

The dream is beautiful, but the math is cold; it requires tons of algae to satisfy the oxygen supply one human needs according to Kuan's research.



speculative future

Then Kuan speculated an alternative future that biotechnology is advancing that algae-based biofuel will replace conventional gasoline as it becomes the mainstream fuel. People can give thanks to the scientists who hacked the genetic sequence of algae and increased its bio performance. Kuan also mock-up the cover page of the newspaper from the year 2075-- Bio life, inside which, bio-tech company: Bloom launched their new line of product-- Bloom 3.0.  

So, in the future, what will the adaptor look like if humans want to incorporate algae into their respiratory system?


sketches and prototypes

Kuan started with the sketches, and then he prototyped some of the ideas accordingly. However, according to the Maya principle, the way people adopt new technology is through the form they are familiar with.  So He looked into the wearable tech, Bloom, on the market and took inspiration from their form.



Bloom has a built in micro- hydro pump to keep the algae’s vitality; a bioreactor to harness the heat algae creates through photosynthesis; and synthetic membrane for algae and a human to exchange breaths.

Bloom comes with a syringe for users to inject algal water into the device or withdraw it to harvest algae biomass from it.

The collapsible design is a choice both for fashion and functionality.


The video



Bloom is a part of an exhibition in Wanted Design-- Radical time.  In Radical Times, students from the Products of Design Master’s program at the School of Visual Arts explore speculative futures to inform product proposals for the present day. Each of these 17 products is a three-dimensional manifestation of their year-long theses, offering the students’ assessment of an urgent, contemporary issue.