Aguahoja III was constructed in 2022 for display in the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art’s exhibition Nature X Humanity: Oxman Architects. The structure is third in a series of of prototypical towers designed to demonstrate the large-scale 3D printing of organic materials. Each structure is comprised of an organic skin bound to a synthetic photopolymer skeleton and stands at 5 meters tall.
The structure’s skin is made from three of nature’s most abundant materials – cellulose, chitin, and pectin. These materials are mixed into hydrogel solutions and 3D printed at room temperature without any synthetic binding agents. By tuning the ratios of each of these components, composites can be printed that are flexible and tough like leather or strong and rigid like wood. Furthermore, just as in nature, these printed composites retain their ability to react to environmental changes in temperature and humidity.
By avoiding the use of synthetic additives and using minimally refined organic matter, the organic composites printed for Aguahoja retain their ability to be decomposed and digested by organisms, transferring the nutrients and energy within them to fuel new growth. In this way, Aguahoja aims to bridge the gap between humans and non-human ecosystems, pointing towards a future where the grown and the made unite.