We recently came across a post from our friends over at Public Fibre, who in turn shared an article from Dezeen, that focuses on a project from Barlett School of Architecture Bio-Integrated Design Lab.

By exploring how design can learn from and protect our natural environment, they have created ‘Indus’, a system of tiles inlaid with algae that can filter toxic chemical dyes and heavy metals out of water.

Once filled, the tiles are assembled into a wall and water is poured into the system through inlets at the top. It trickles through the tile channels and is collected at the bottom.

Inspired by the architecture of a leaf, water flows over a series of vein-like channels containing algae prepared in a seaweed based hydrogel. Pollutants are concealed by the algae and the hydrogel can then be processed to recover heavy metals safely.

Indus is designed to be built on site in areas with contaminated water sources, where users can pour water over the tiles to purify it.

Indus design