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Innovation Design Engineering (MA/MSc)

Songzhe Chen

Songzhe comes from China, based in a multidisciplinary industrial design background, especially in human-computer interaction and material innovation. He has won the priority in many design competitions and has cooperated with many famous universities to develop projects. In 2019, he jointly innovated a self-balancing instrument and developed new 3D material research with Zhejiang University.

Songzhe is passionate about combining traditional human culture with sustainable development, and he is a designer full of critical thinking, so you can feel the ethical discussion of human behavior and technological development in his projects.

Show Location: Kensington campus: Darwin Building, Lower ground floor

In recent years, harmful algal blooms and marine red tides have occurred frequently in water bodies around the world, which have seriously affected the drinking water safety, aquaculture, and water landscape value of residents around the world, causing economic losses.

In southeastern China, the algal bloom has seriously affected the marine ecological environment and the living water. Most townships of southeast China are in the development stage, mainly based on the agricultural economy and tourism economy. The increasingly serious algal bloom not only destroys the local economic development but also brings a heavy financial burden of algal bloom treatment to the local governments. Townships cannot afford complex and expensive algae removal equipment, nor do they have enough technicians to carry out long-term chemical maintenance of the waters. So Shade blooming algal ball was born, which is made from algal polysaccharides that are extracted from local coastal beneficial algae resources (such as kelp, and brown algae), they are degradable, and large quantities of the black algal ball are dumped on the water surface, forming a sun-shielding layer that floats on the water's surface and breaks, sinks and eventually degrades after a suitable time. Its cost is low, the raw materials can be obtained directly locally, the production difficulty is small, and it is easy to store.

The algal ball is not only a product to solve the problem of algal blooms but also a reliability test for the application of the current popular degradable and environmentally friendly materials. I hope to help people further understand the reliability of algal polysaccharide materials through design. It can also promote people to further search for more targeted applications of algal polysaccharides.

Shade Blooming is made by algal polysaccharides and combined with other sustainable ingredients and eco-friendly dyes, which have excellent material strength, and feasibility. They're waterproof, they float on the water for a long time and don't cause any pollution.

Shade Blooming was inspired by the Los Angeles plastic shade ball and through algal-based material innovation to effectively treat algae and purify water by shading the sunshine.

Other animals and plants in natural water can't live without sunshine as well, so the bio-degradation of algal-based material can perfectly solve this problem. There are roughly four stages to the degradation of the sphere, after the break, they will sink and become food for animals. The time to rupture can be controlled by adjusting the thickness of the ball, so the Shade Blooming can be customized for different sizes and types of algal blooms.