Diatom_Helmet has been seclected with other 14 projects submitted to the Maker Faire Rome in 2014, for Focus prize – it is the most innovative, the helmet inspired by the mechanical properties of algae diatoms, who in July 2014 had been exposed at Città della Scienza in the exhibition: Diatom: De-Science Intersections between Design and Science.
The idea of a helmet for sports inspired to algae Diatoms – realized in collaboration between Paula Studio (Rome) and MakeInBo, through the two designers Simone Bartolucci and Antonio Gagliardi – was born from the Call organized by three research units of biology (Department DISTABIF- coordinated by Mario de Stefano, scientific director of the project), physics (IMM CNR coordinated by Edward de Tommasi) and biomimetic design (Department DICDEA- coordinated by Carla Langella).
This special helmet aims to increase the performance of a sports helmet imitating the structure of the cell wall of diatoms decreasing the overall weight and improving the fit.
Diatoms have cell walls of silicon in the form of two “shells” (the frustule) of complex shapes. The frustules of diatoms have evolved as mechanical protection for the cells, it is required exceptional strength to break them. The peculiarity of diatoms is the incredible strength, despite their weight is incredibly light.