Algae Bio-Reactor – Visualizing Data with Algae

Created by RAD at the University of Miami School of Architecture  (,  Algae Bio-Reactor is a proof-of-concept prototype for a facade system that uses algae to sequester carbon, filter water and visualize data.

The Algae Bio-Reactor prototype houses 64 jars in an 8 x 8 matrix.  Each jar is connected to individually addressable LEDs controlled by an Arduino.  Through photosynthesis, the algae contained in each jar will grow overtime, thus displaying varying shades of green.  Acting as a monochromatic living pixel, when amalgamating to an 8 x 8 matrix, a low-resolution display is created.

Here the “U” was grown over a two-week period, symbolic of the University of Miami.  Additional drawings can be found here (

Algae Bio-Reactor is a proof of concept prototype built to test RAD’s “Bio-Display” proposal, more information about Bio-Display can be found here (