BIT.BIO.BOT. | Collective Experiments in Biotechnological Architecture.
February 08, 2022
"How will WE live together ?", asked Hashim Sarkis to the architectural community gathered in Venice for the 17th Architectural Biennale.
Let's imagine an expanded notion of WE, to include, alongside humans, the plethora of complex synthetic organisms currently inhabiting our Urbansphere.
These include ecosystems of autonomous electronic devices, digital algorithms, many forms of plant and animal intelligence, bacteria and of course viruses.
From this perspective our design practice is the venturous exploration of collective sensibilities. That is our collective abilities at recognising the emerging patterns of reasoning across species, materiality and technological regimes.
This effort results in an expanded repertoire of aesthetic qualities. Architecture's aesthetic then is now no longer merely inspired by biology or computer science.
It actively contributes to the actualisation of their disciplinary discourses within a reimagined spatial reality. Architecture therefore acquires its own transdisciplinary intelligence and sensibility, which can trained and cultivated. In our current design practice, we deploy this sensibility to access the in-human dimension of the WE, as we have defined it, and to enrich our perception of it.
This shift has the power to expand the space of design solutions we can conceive by re-problematizing given problems.
Urban air pollution, for example, can be mapped as a fertile medium feeding living Photosynthetic architectures powered by hungry colonies of cyanobacteria. These in turn can grow biomass for synthetic digestion into bioplastic design components.
Even before providing solutions, we think the fundamental societal role of our designs now is to ask new questions about the "known" problems of the Urbansphere we all inhabit.