Architecture Group for Smart City Design, Ecological Planning, and Art.
Design With Life: Biotech Architecture and Resilient Cities by Mitchell Joachim, Maria Aiolova,
and Terreform ONE. Actar Publishers, 2019.
This volume chronicles the projects and breakthroughs of Terreform ONE. They are a
nonprofit research group that defines salient new directions in socio-ecological design and
other vital intersections of architecture, synthetic biology, and urban systems.
The main idea of this book is to design against extinction. In the challenging context of
accelerating climate dynamics, the core discipline of architectural design is evolving and
embracing new forms of action. New York-based nonprofit Terreform ONE has established a
distinctive design tactic that investigates projects through the regenerative use of natural
materials, science, and the latest emergent fields relevant to urban design. This kind of design
approach uses actual living matter (not abstracted imitations of nature) to create new
functional elements and spaces. These future-based actions are not only grounded in social
justice but are also far-reaching in their application of digital manufacturing and maker culture.
Terreform ONE tackles urgent environmental and urban social concerns through the
integrated use of living materials and organisms.
Mitchell Joachim and Maria Aiolova, founders of Terreform ONE, describe their practice
through various projects and prolific research that has made a significant impact on what is
increasingly recognized as socio-ecological design. Together they achieve an abundant
collection of projects that validate these unique experimental methods, including the Monarch
Sanctuary, a new urban building type to protect butterflies from extinction; Cricket Shelter and
Farm, a series of modular volumes for harvesting alternate forms of insect protein; and
biodegradable structures called Mycoform that invokes principles of synthetic biology to
prototype 100% compostable furniture. Design with Life documents this growing body of work
and outlines an original direction for a changing discipline, reviewing concepts at a range of
scales for metropolitan areas. In an age where speed is everything, Terreform ONE reveals
how future architecture and urban design practices can cultivate biological processes and
create resilient answers to tomorrow's wicked problems.
Design with Life intentionally turns the discipline of architecture upside-down. The book
contains a plethora of essays from esteemed architects, biologists, historians, artists, and
educators that reframe the way in which design develops as a practice alongside science.
Within this book, we explore solutions that make a direct impact on our altered atmosphere. It’s
a compilation of advanced research that reviews concepts in the art of biotechnology from
insect food sourcing to fungi building components in cities across the globe. As of today, the
planetary climate crisis has reached a penultimate state. The nature of the next impending
catastrophe and its implications in design has yet to be determined.
Stemming from work initially developed at Terreform ONE and other prominent organizations in
the field, this volume disseminates ecologically intelligent design in various speculative urban
contexts. Equally, it unpacks projects and histories by other major theoreticians in many
comparable disciplines. Throughout these inventive structures and public activities, the aim is
to expose the environmental potentials within local municipalities and stimulate similar
resolutions in comparable neighborhoods.
For over a decade the works herein were developed in matchless laboratories such as New
Lab, Genspace, MEx, Cooper Union Kanbar Center for Biomedical Engineering, and MIT
Media Lab, each of which is filled with specialists from diverse disciplinary backgrounds and
methodologies. These pioneering individuals refocused their efforts to discover and expand
projects into the larger framework of socio-ecological urbanism. Primarily the research inside
this volume cultivates innovative concepts and technologies for sustainability in energy,
transportation, infrastructure, buildings, manufacturing, waste treatment, food, air quality, and
water. Original investigations are derived from the effective techniques explored within the joint
territory of design and synthetic biology.
Contributing Authors: Vivian Kuan, Heather Newberry Lord, John Rudikoff, Nurhan Gokturk,
Christian Hubert, Anna Bokov, Nina Edwards Anker, Peder Anker, Srdjan Jovanovic Weiss,
Charles C. Mann, Ray K. Mann, Bruce Lindsey, Winka Dubbeldam, Charles McKinney, Julie
Bargmann, Margie Ruddick, Forrest Meggers, Dickson Despommier, Suzanne Anker, Marcos
Cruz, William Myers, Orkan Telhan, Nurit Bar-Shai, Ellen Jorgensen, Zack Saunders, Bob
Fisher, Sanjeev Shankar, Amy Karle, Nicholas Gervasi, Paul C. Bart, and Marvin Bratke.