Agency of Matter: Speculative Hardware

in BioArt

We are approaching an era where the built environment will be hybridised with biological matter. With this we will need to develop a new language of design, one for which we don’t have a vocabulary yet, and develop a new toolkit with which to design, build or grow these semi-living structures. In this new system we will not only have to address the changing relationship between human and the environment, but also human and matter as this architecture will not be made of inert construction materials, but with materials that come with the responsibilities of life.

I will be researching new biological developments and materials in the built environment to propose an new vocabulary to describe it with and new tools to build it with. I am hoping that this will not only be the domain of architects and designers, but also to the domestic builder, the DIY tinkerer and anyone else that frequents the hardware store (or the wetware store as it might soon be known). To make these concepts more digestible, I would like to propose and design some of the products and materials  that  this wetware store might have on its shelves. I am hoping this investigation will address the following questions:

  1. How will designers and the users understand and use these semi-living structures?
  2. How do we change the perception from contemporary ‘clean’ aesthetics to a ‘messy’ living aesthetic?
  3. Is our traditional vocabulary and language enough to adequately express these new hybrid environments?
  4. What will the new tools look like that we use to build these semi-living structures? Will this create a new industry of bio-builders?
  5. How will designers interpret concepts that were previously in the domain of biologists?
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