Metal Lungs Design Uses Algae To Convert Carbon Dioxide Into Oxygen

Super Lung by BKID and Moon and Jeon

Lungs—and breathing clearly—have been on the world's mind over the past few years. And now, a group of South Korean artists has designed a concept that takes breathing to a new level. Super Lung is a metal lung concept that uses algae to convert carbon dioxide into oxygen. Designed by Bongkyu Song of BKID in collaboration with artists Moon and Jeon, these “new” lungs take a cue from the highly efficient respiratory system of birds.

While birds have lungs, they don't expand and contract like those of mammals. Instead, they have different air sacs distributed throughout their body that ventilate the lungs. Similarly, Super Lung uses algae to create this same one-way flow. The algae use anterior air sacs in a way that the designers compare to air flowing through a radiator grill in a combustion engine. This cuts down on the need for exhalation, which they point to as the main cause of infection. In fact, according to the designers, this concept increases respiratory efficiency in mammals by 300%.

Super Lung is an interesting concept that was designed for Moon and Jeon's exhibition News from Nowhere: Freedom Village. The exhibit, which runs until February 20, 2022 at the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea (MMCA), is part of the MMCA Hyundai Motor Series 2021. Freedom Village is a continuation of their News from Nowhere project, which asks “fundamental questions about the role that art can play in our rapidly changing world and the crises that humanity faces.”

By tackling the pandemic and the extreme ways we may need to adapt, the artists are looking at how humans deal with tragedy. The exhibition, which also includes an interactive video installation, was inspired by William Morris' classic utopian novel, News from Nowhere.

A group of South Korean artists has created a metal lung concept.

Super Lung by BKID and Moon and Jeon

Anatomy Concept, Metal Lungs

Called Super Lung, it uses algae to increase breathing efficiency and convert CO2 into oxygen.

Metal Lung Concept

The concept takes inspiration from the avian respiratory system.

Design for Metal Lung

Concept for Metal Lung

BKID: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Behance
Moon and Jeon: Website | Instagram
h/t: [Yanko Design]

All images via BKID.

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Jessica Stewart

Jessica Stewart is a Staff Editor and Digital Media Specialist for My Modern Met, as well as a curator and art historian. Since 2020, she is also one of the co-hosts of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. She earned her MA in Renaissance Studies from University College London and now lives in Rome, Italy. She cultivated expertise in street art which led to the purchase of her photographic archive by the Treccani Italian Encyclopedia in 2014. When she’s not spending time with her three dogs, she also manages the studio of a successful street artist. In 2013, she authored the book 'Street Art Stories Roma' and most recently contributed to 'Crossroads: A Glimpse Into the Life of Alice Pasquini'. You can follow her adventures online at @romephotoblog.
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