An algae photobioreactor in outer space.

Interview of Sylve Truyman by the J.Rougerie Foundation – Institut de France – 2018

Above all, tell us about yourself in a few words: Where do you live, study or work at the moment? 

We are a french team based in Paris. Sylve whose father Pierre Jacques is an engineer is an architect and a concept designer. Alexandre is a 3D infographist, he helps with his advices. Alexandre and Sylve met ten years ago in architectural firms. We had planned to design a project together for a long time.

One sentence to tell us about your project

The J.Rougerie Foundation invited us to think about architecture and space : two fields that fascinate us. So we have imagined an orbital solar power plant similar to a seed : it can travel throught space and open up like a flower.

Was does your project mean to you?

Above all, we wanted to design a project that blends innovative technologies and inspired by Nature. As it is an inexhaustible source of inspiration.

We consider Nature as High technology.

All the technologies and inovations of the Solar Spore project already exist. We have combined and mixed devices present on Earth or in the International Space Station. It is important to us that most of the technical aspects are possible and that those who see our images understand that these dreams are within reach.

Each of our conceptions is a « Real Dream » that our children or grandchildren will see. It has nothing to do with utopia or fiction.

What challenges did you face during the creation process of your project?

First we realized it was difficult to send it into space. That is why we asked for the help of sylve’s father, Pierre Jacques. Together we designed a large rocket to send Solar Spore into space in one go. This project is designed as a living organism just like a plant, it can open easily, almost naturaly. We could imagine a lot af them and send them in the solar system.

How does it feel to try to be one of the most visionary architects in the world?

We do not prétend to be so ! However we became interested in the thought and the approach of a visionary architect: Jacques Rougerie. In 1988 there was a phone conversation between J.Rougerie and Jean Loup Chrétien, an aquanaut Under the sea calling an astronaut in the Mir station. We discover it on the internet and it had such an effect on us.

They made us aware of the tremendous possibilities that these two worlds offer together and separately. Seaweed is the domain of the sea, so precious to Jacques Rougerie and exporting it in space was also a tribute to his work.

Do you think the Foundation played a crucial role in your project’s advancement, visibility?

By entering the competition of the Foundation we had a feeling of freedom. It was a fulfilling and enriching experience. We were both surprised and happy to win the « jury’s choice » Prize. This allowed us to validate our approach and continue in that direction. Now we know we are both able to win a competition by ourselves and also to make an original project incorporating ideas that are important to us.

Why participate in such a competition? Would you do it again?

The J.Rougerie Foundation has allowed us to meet and meet people from a lot of backgrounds, one of which is dear to us: space and science. These exchanges allowed us to extend our imagination and to assert ourselves in our approach. Designing a project for this contest allows you to evolve your thoughts on exciting and essential topics.

We are ready to draw other « Real Dreams » and to live the adventure again!

What’s the next step?

We would like to fly free and to develop all or part of Solar Spore in the same spirit, design projects affiliated with Solar Spore and design other projects, we have plenty of ideas and look forward to starting drawing other « real dreams » and to develop this concept.

A word of advice for this year’s participants?

At the very beginning you have an idea, your own idea that is still fragile. And if some advice can be given to you: choose this specific moment and enter in the universe of Jacques Rougerie, learn from his thought, watch his progress, look at his path and then your idea will be a hundred times stronger.

More than a solitary idea, it will be linked to the world, the Earth, the oceans, space and life itself. Nothing is impossible if you can imagine it in your mind.

Solar Spore – A Real Dream registered concept