Architect Vincent Callebaut imagines 3D-printed underwater cities made of trash

Living underwater means your 3D-printed oceanscraper is made of algae and trash

Earth’s oceans are full of garbage, and there are a lot of interesting ideas about how to clean them up and what to do with all the trash. Seabin is a floating garbage can that collects garbage, fuel, detergents, and other debris from the water. It’s just in prototype stage right now, but maybe one day some of the collected trash will end up on your feet. Adidas has figured out a way to make shoes from ocean plastic and a 3D-printed midsole.

It’s important to clean our oceans, because dolphins are cute, and also, because one day we may be living there ourselves. Hey, there are already underwater hotels, so seasteading isn’t as crazy as it sounds. While the Seasteading Institute hopes to have a floating city bobbing along by 2020, Belgian architect Vincent Callebaut is looking further out for his “oceanscraper” — more like 2065, according to Dezeen.

The design is just a concept and not really a plan for the future, but he imagines underwater buildings off the coast of Rio de Janeiro. Aequorea, as the futuristic city is called, would be 3D-printed using algoplast, a not-yet-invented material made from algae and garbage.

The 1,000 towers, which would hold 20,000 residents, use renewable energy sources and the aquanauts would subsist on algae, plankton, mollusks, and fruit and vegetables grown above water. “Modular living room, co-working spaces, fablabs, recycling plants, science labs, educational hotels, sports fields, aquaponic farms, and phyto-purification lagoons stack up layer by layer,” according to Callebaut’s website.

While Callebaut’s suggestion that people wear gill masks to breathe underwater doesn’t sound appealing, his main goal is to bring awareness to the fate of the oceans. After all, you want the view from your underwater hotel (or home) to be of killer whales and sharks, not trash piles.

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