A Self-Sufficient Model for an Island


Iaac 2017-2018
Self-Sufficient Habitat Thesis Studio
Thesis Advisor: Vicente Guallart
Student: Cagan Izgi



After the industrial revolution, as a human race we have been talking about its consequences and how it caused to widespread psychological suffering and created communities living in cognitive dissonance.

In addition to that,  it has inflicted a critical damage on the natural world and created lack of access to clean drinking and agricultural water which is the keystone to survive and these consequences has led us to rethink an alternative way to live, produce and innovate.

This thinking emerges in philosophy, science as well as in the arts and in the late 60’s the term “Community Art” was defined and spawned an international movement and created communities which focused on the values of environment.

Re-Land is a Self-Sufficient Community Model for an hectare Island which allows artists and researchers to mutually live and explore the sustainable qualities of seawater within the self-sufficient cycle.

There are intents on experimenting natural systems in closed ecosystems or in extreme conditions like BIOS-3 which is an underground research facility in Russia focuses on the feasibility of sustaining human life in a sealed system. And there is Biosphere-2 which is an Earth System Science Research Facility on the Desert in Arizona. And there is British Antarctic Survey that focuses on nature of Earth and our impact on it.

According to the results that these facilities had experienced, some of the experiments ended because of psychological issues in team and some of them ended because of miscalculations about the ecosystem.


In this research, to provide a certain level of comfort for artists and researchers to live and experiment as a community,  an Island environment can give more psychological freedom to experiment long term environmental experiments about the human nature and can give possibility to run experiments on seawater to extract clean drinking water and minerals directly from sea.

According to the World salinity map from NASA, mediterranean sea is the richest region in terms of dissolved minerals in seawater which makes this region a target for this research and there is a 1 hectare private Greek island which can allow to propose a Self-Sufficient model for 9 people community.




So what does this Island has?


“It has Sunlight and an hectare land surrounded by seawater.

What does Re-Land community needs to move in?

They need clean drinking water, food, matter and energy to live on this island. Because of there is limited land to produce enough food for the community, It is necessary to produce in vertical greenhouses and LED systems with aquaponics. Combining these new technologies with traditional permaculture techniques will allow us to produce enough food for the community with minimum land usage.

Then again they need electric and heat energy to maintain these technologies and their shelters. The water pumps for irrigation and filtration will be powered by the windmills on the land and PV solar panels will produce the electricity for other electricity necessities. Thermal Solar panels will be used to heat the water most of the time in the year except winter and biogas will be used for this period of year.   

So how does Re-Landing process begins? It begins with collecting the seaweed from the sea which is a rich nutrition for the plant growing and compile them on the land to create fertilized soil. Then bringing local reeds, fishing nets and ETFE sheets to distill some freshwater by creating a condensation pond and planting outdoor fruit and nut trees at this stage will save some time for the first harvest.

Then by planting hemp seeds, growing them harvesting them and mixing them with  lime and water will allow us to produce hempcrete. Hempcrete is a carbon negative bio-composite which is pest,  flame and water resistant, lightweight and breathable. And reinforcing it with the reed straws will allow us to build the system structures, living units and community areas. Any other structural necessities can be produced from reed straws and eucalyptus trees that will be grown as a furniture and sculpture making on the island.

Now considering that the Re-Land is ready for It’s community to move in It is necessary to build black water filtration ponds with vertical herb and flowers growing inside. It is proven and has been in use by the Kolding Pyramid Project in Denmark and uses algae, zooplankton, fishes then the horticulture and reed beds to filter the black water out.

After the meeting with Jonathan at Valldaura he suggested the seawater mining technique from Damian Palin who mines brinewater with bacteria to extract minerals like Calcium, Potassium and Magnesium. According to Ted talk from Damian Palin, Singapore which is a big island on earth, proposes by 2060 to produce [900] million liters per day of desalinated water. And in terms of magnesium and the amount of water that he mentions, equates to $4.5 billion mining industry for Singapore which we can use to support the economy of Re-Land Community which will be based on Blockchain Cryptocurrency which can be used between future island communities in Mediterranean sea. From this idea, it is necessary to build a seawater mining pond to experiment more about bio-leaching and it will help to harvest distilled water by condensation.


So in here we can see more deeper analysis on production and calculations which is still in progress.





Iaac 2017-2018
Self-Sufficient Habitat Thesis Studio
Thesis Advisor: Vicente Guallart
Student: Cagan Izgi