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The EFFEKT of remote-controlled pine growing

Danish architecture studio EFFEKT has planted hundreds of pine seedlings around seven architectural models at the Venice Architecture Biennale using a hydroponics system that’s remote-controlled from Copenhagen. Source: Dezeen

The installation is called Ego to Eco and responds to the biennale’s theme, a question posed by the Venice Architecture Biennale’s 2021 curator Hashim Sarkis: How will we live together?

The seven models represent different research and design projects by EFFEKT that the studio feels answers this theme.

EFFEKT planted 1200 one-year-old trees of four different species for the exhibition –  Scots Pine (Pinus Sylvestris), Norway Spruce (Picea Abies), Sitka Spruce (Pinus Sitchensisa) and Hybrid Larch (Larix Eurolepis).

These seedlings sit in a hydroponic growing system that circulates water and nutrients around their roots. Hydroponics is a system of horticulture that grows plants without using soil.

Excess water drains into a tank below the planter that holds the system, called a grow table.

Sensors monitoring the pressure, humidity, and temperature allow EFFEKT to monitor and control the system in real-time from their office back in Copenhagen.

The trees will grow in the exhibition hall at the Venice Architecture Biennale for six months. After the biennale finishes, EFFEKT will take them back to Denmark and plant them as part of an urban reforestation project.

The studio estimates that these trees will be able to absorb over 1000 tons of carbon dioxide over the next 50 years.

“Ego to Eco is built upon the idea of creating an exhibition with a lasting positive impact,” said EFFEKT.

“Considering social, environmental and economic aspects of any project can help address some of the greatest challenges we face as a result of our human existence.”

Trees and nature have emerged as a major theme for the Venice Architecture Biennale 2021.