Julian Melchiorri is an innovation design engineer and entrepreneur and CEO of Arborea, a biochemical technology company. Julian has developed the world’s first living and breathing chandelier utilising novel bionic-leaf technologies. The result is bionic chandelier Exhale, designed to purify the air. Thanks to this work, talented designer is the winner of the 2017 Emerging Talent Medal in the annual British Land Celebration of Design Awards.
The chandelier consists of 70 ‘petals’ in 3 different sizes. Each petal contains green algae, which are activated by a mix of daylight and LED, and sustained by a drip-feed of nutrients. The micro-organisms absorb carbon dioxide and ‘breathe out’ oxygen. The chandelier thus forms a large, natural air-purifier.
Young Italian, Melchiorri believes that photosynthesis can be used in both products and architecture. In 2014, he created the world’s first artificial leaf, called Silk Leaf, by encasing chloroplasts, the plant parts involved in photosynthesis, in silk fibres.
By doing so, the chloroplasts were stabilised so that they could keep working. With the chandelier, Melchiorri has taken a different direction, but maintained the same vision.
Exhale is installed in the Victoria & Albert Museum in South Kensington as a key feature of the London Design Festival, which runs from September 16 to 24.