Imagine Our Algae Future is a book that aims to predict the central role that algae will play in our future. Does it do this convincingly? Mmmmm, not really, to my mind.
It starts off giving an overview of the current state of the uses that algae has and the industry around that. Biofuels, cosmetics, stockfeeds, waste treatments and the other known applications. An overview of the production systems used for these applications is also given. That’s about the first 25% of the book.
Most of the remainder of the book is given over to the submissions entered for the Visionary Algae Architecture & Landscape Designs – International Algae Competition that was held in 2011.
The last portion of the book is given over to advertisements, contact emails for the submittors, bio’s for the two authors, and a small list of further information resources.
- If you’re looking for inspiration as to how algae production systems, and why, might be integrated into construction as way of integrating it into our daily lives, then this is a good starting point.
The Lack of Value:
- There’s no proposed use of the algae beyond current applications, despite there being an abundance of possibilities (as discussed in this blog).
- within the proposed future integrations, the scope is incredibly narrow in that it looks only at algae production as a singular, monoculture goal.
Example: one of the problems that is attempted to be addressed is world hunger, yet the proposals are either massive microalgae production facilities in third world countries, or plastic tubes or wall panels for growing microalgae at home.
Why not propose, for example, an integrated aquaculture or aquaponics system, that is part of the design? Is it realistic to expect that people would want to grow a singular crop – it’d be the same as someone simply growing spinach all the time, nothing else ! Not logical and not likely.
- There’s no reference to any research whatsoever. Varieties, techniques, propagation mechanisms, ….. nothing.
So, overall, I rate the book, two barra’s out of a possible five !