Ambio, bacterial lamp


by Teresa van Dongen

Ocean waves glowing blue in the dark of night, anyone who has ever experienced this knows how magical it looks. The phenomenon is caused by bioluminescent micro-organisms in seawater that emit light when provided with oxygen every time a wave turnes. This principle inspired Teresa van Dongen to combine her passion for design and biology in a bioluminescent light installation. Ambio balances two weights and a glass tube half-filled with a “Artificial Seawater Medium” containing a carefully selected type of these unique luminescent species. Give the lamp a gentle push every so often and the weights will keep it moving and thus glowing. Ambio is a visualization of a research on how to use nature as a source of energy.
The bacteria (Photobacterium species, isolated from the octopus) are provided by B.M. Joosse and R.M.P. Groen, two Life Science and Technology students at the TU Delft who currently work on prolonging the lifespan of the population for a possible next generation of Ambio.
Copyright Teresa van Dongen, 2014
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