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Inducing Growth of Lichen to Tackle Pollution

LichenLab is a project which began in my first year at the Royal College of Art and Imperial College London. It tackles the issue of air pollution in a sensitive and beautiful manner. The enlarged ceramic lichen comprises of altered ceramics with different pHs. It is sprayed with a solution containing probiotics and fruiting lichen bodies (thallus') to encourage rapid growth. As the lichens grow they will create a collage of colour as different lichens flourish from different levels of pollutants, such as nitrogen. These lichens can then be identified as bioindicators, allowing us to understand the levels of pollutants within the area. Lichens also derive their nutrients from the air, making them almost like passive particulate sponges. Thus, this piece becomes a breathing object, cleaning the air around it.

90cm x 75cm Earthenware with modified pH

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