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︎ 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.

(Claudia Pasquero)