The bio architecture project consists in a self-generative synthetic ecosystem in urban settings, that aims so sequestrate atmospheric carbon dioxide through the production biomass by local species. The structure that holds this ecology will be fabricated with mycelium as an organic carbon neutral material. This structure will be coated with hydrogel to create a suitable milieu to develop bacterial colonies. Those colonies will deliver different ecological services, configuring the base for the further development of the ecosystem. Bio-mineralizing bacteria is going to be placed as a way to reinforce the mycelium structure and to create a process of autonomic growth, which will result in the creation of more area for other species to colonize. Cyanobacteria will be placed as a photosynthetic agent that will deliver two possible services. the first service is carbon-sequestration and oxygen production, which responds to the main objective of this project. The second service is energy production, which corresponds to the secondary objective of the project, this aspect is being studied by the team in order to take the most advantage of the biological activity within the ecosystem. In this project cyanobacteria and the biomineralizing bacteria are considered codependent in terms of the capacity of the structure to constantly increase the space, and thus avoiding the critical point of saturation, in which the bacteria begin to die because of the lack of space and resources. This project looks to create an ecological integration between urban infrastructure and local ecosystems as a form to contribute to the preservation of biodiversity and the environmental remediation.
Larger plant species will eventually colonize the structure, contributing to the sequestration of carbon dioxide, those species are not going to be selected by the team because they will vary depending on the placement of the synthetic ecosystem.
- visual explorations for bio-architecture
These are some images of the formal/visual exploration for the bio-architectural project. The purpose of this exercise is to extend the visual “language” of what we currently understand for bio-architecture. If its possible able to formalize a structure in a computer, then is likely possible to build it using digital fabrication tools.
These are the result of an aesthetic speculation around the idea of ecology as a multi-layered network.
The team was able to create a model using many of the definitive materials considered for the project. Because of the time that mycelium needs to grow is was not possible to use it as a material in the prototype, high-density modeling board was used instead.
This piece was made using CNC router to create a “topography” in which bacteria can grow.
Cyano bacteria culture and a nutrient solution were possible to make thanks to Annegrete Honsbein.
The material test was coated with 1% Agar to emulate hydrogel in the final piece. A refined system can be applied to create a more even result.
A set-up was created in the lab to create optimal condistions for cyanobacteria to grow.
This is a previsualization of the project to illustrate our objective. This would be the synthetic ecosystem once the local plants have colonized the surface.
The idea was to create a realistic ( non-ideal, like most of the architectural previsualizations) urban environment to have an accurate idea of how the ecosystem could look in the “real” city, where solutions are needed.