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BIO CITY MAP OF 11 BILLION:
World Population in 2110

Official Selection of the Venice
Biennale

MOVIE
The Economist
Fast Company
The Creators Project
TED
Architizer

Credit: Mitchell Joachim, Nurhan
Gokturk, Melanie Fessel, Maria
Aiolova, Oliver Medvedik. Research
Fellows; Chloe Byrne, Adrian De
Silva, Daniel Dewit, Renee
Fayzimatova, Alena Field, Nicholas
Gervasi, Julien Gonzalez, Lucas
Hamren, Patty Kaishian, Ahmad
Khan, Laasyapriya Malladi, Karan
Maniar, Ricardo Martin Coloma, Puja
Patel, Merve Poyraz, Mina Rafiee,
Mahsoo Salimi, Manjula Singh,
Diego Wu Law.

In the next 100 years we can expect
human population to reach 11 billion
people. What does this increased
massive growth look like? We used a
Dymaxion map grid to communicate
an all-encompassing view of world
population density in cities through
data. The map visualizes the earth as
one entire urbanized place, instead
of unconnected settlements, towns,
municipalities, and disparate regions.
Our Bio City Map displays population
density as a parametric graph on the
front and the back is made with living
biosynthetic matter. These living
elements focus on numerous
mega-city inhabitants, genetically
designed and grown inside petri
dishes. Our novel approach
experimented with living populations
that consisted of hundreds of
thousands of bacteria colonies. We
preferred to graph population density
with actual colonies that were alive
to challenge typical computer driven
processes.
We chose colonies of E. coli as a
method of analog computation using
synthetic biology. Population density
was represented in two different forms
of bioluminescent E. coli under UV
light. Glowing red E. coli represented
future census projections, while
green represented existing
demographic conditions you would
find in cities. We used the dilution
method in biology to show the range
of densities of E. coli populations in
each petri dish. Micro-stencils
derived from CAD files shaped the E.
coli into specific geometries that
display the current geopolitical
boundaries in cities.

This is an interdisciplinary project
that involved cartographers, urban
planners, biologists, and architects,
which completed a manifestation of
the near future for human population
density. We argue that most nations
cannot view the effects of planetary
population density through the lens
of just one city or region. Instead we
aimed to reveal the long-range
effects of immense human
population in areas of present and
speculative urban intensity.
Moreover, we expanded the
technique of "bacteriography"
(bacteria photography) to shift scale
and underscore the highest zones of
growth.
Ultimately, the bacterial shapes grow
to reveal variant patterns of
biological transformation in urban
regions. By using biosynthetic based
materials, we expect to narrow the
gap between idealized mathematical
interpretations and observable events
in nature.
Our team consisted of a consortium
of individuals trained and/or working
at the Harvard University Medical
School, Harvard GSD, MIT Media
Lab, NYU, Cooper Union, and local
nonprofit organizations.
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