© Matteo de Mayda 2014, © Studiomobile 2012, © Linv 2012

About Us

Pnat is an emerging think tank of designers and biologists with the aim of merging plants, research, science and creativity. Mimicking patterns of natural processes lead to face emerging problems such as environmental changes and depletion of resources in a sustainable way.
Plants account for 99% of world biomass and have been adapting to changing conditions for 450 million years. Studying their evolutionary processes suggests outstanding methodologies applicable in many fields from design to urbanism and from materials technology to resilient strategies. Pnat uses nature as a model and as a co-worker.  

Our team uses bio-mimetic applications as a tool to establish a new design approach. At the same time we investigate innovative methods of cooperating with plants to set up new relationships between natural and artificial environments. The work of Pnat covers the fields of sustainable architecture, bio design, education, urban ecology, material engineering.

Our team is composed of biologists Stefano Mancuso, Elisa Azzarello, Camilla Pandolfi, and Elisa Masi from LINV (International Laboratory of Plant Neurobiology), and the designers Antonio Girardi and Cristiana Favretto from Studiomobile. Pnat is under incubation to become a spin off of the University of Florence.



© Studiomobile 2010

What we do

Jellyfish Barge

Floating self-sufficient cultivation module

Many coastal communities are particularly exposed to water and food security, and climate change is going to exacerbate even more local weakness. In sub-Saharan Africa, hotter and drier conditions have reduced the resiliency of local communities which experience the effect of cyclic droughts.

Also in the refugees camps located in coastal areas overpopulation and scarcity of resources in terms of cultivable land and safe water harden the condition of vulnerability of people. Finally, coastal areas affected by seawater flooding preventing the cultivation of land and causing the contamination of fresh water, cyclically face water and food scarcity.

Jellyfish Barge

© Pnat 2014


© Studiomobile 2013 | photo courtesy Giulio Boem


Indoor Hydroponic cultivation system

Re-Watering is a simple, soil-less system to grow plants indoors. It is an artwork consisting of three ovules and a column made of ceramic as well as an ingenious system to continuously recycle water in order to irrigate a small vegetable garden. Most of the system components are handmade.

Re-Watering is a system to grow your own small kitchen garden. Mint, lettuce, basil, strawberries, and ornamental plants as well, will grow in your house or work space. It takes up little space and allows you to have fresh vegetables and aromatic or ornamental plants all year long!

Re-watering is a closed system, thus does not pollute the environment. It reduces the need for using pesticides against parasites (which generally live in the soil) and eliminates the need for herbicides. During the natural process of photosynthesis, in which oxygen is emitted and carbon dioxide absorbed, the plants of your Re-Watering system will also purify your air.

In addition many plants are able to remove pollutants present in every house: formaldehyde, ammonia and benzene, which come from common household paints, detergents, smoke and computer monitors. Your well-being and attention will increase as a result of this natural air purification system as well as the white noise of water. Hearing the soft swish of water can create a relaxing mood and increase concentration while studying and other work activities.
The Team

Stefano MancusoStefano Mancuso
Nature and Ecology
Antonio GirardiAntonio Girardi
Biomimicry and
Sustainable Architecture

skype: sm_antonio-girardi
Cristiana FavrettoCristiana Favretto
Biodesign and Urban Ecology
skype: sm_cristiana-favretto
Elisa MasiElisa Masi
Horticulture and Crop Production
Camilla PandolfiCamilla Pandolfi
Plant materials and Biomechanics
skype: pandomilla
Elisa AzzarelloElisa Azzarello
Pollution and Environments