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BIO CITY MAP OF 11 BILLION:
World Population in 2110

MOVIE
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.  Is this sustainable? We used
the Buckminster Fuller Dymaxion
Map to take a view of the world, and
look at the 25 densest cities on the
planet Earth. Our Bio City Map
displays population density as a
parametric graph on the front. The
back zooms on each of these cities,
designed and built and grown inside
petri dishes.
We chose colonies of E. Coli as a
method of analog computation.
Population density was represented
in two different forms of
bioluminescent E. coli under UV
light. Glowing red E. coli represented
future projections, while green
represented existing 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.
Stencils derived from CAD files would
shape the E. coli into specific
geometries that would show or
display the current conditions in
cities. This is an interdisciplinary
project because cartographers, urban
planners, biologists, and architects,
were all working to think about a map
of the near future of human
population.

The Bio City World Map is a forecast
of the world population density in the
next 100 years. It has been modeled
by combining all the world cities
together as one continuous growth
system. The current phenomena of
explosive growth - the "Mega-city"
(Shanghai, Sao Paulo, Mexico City,
Lagos) and the "Instant City" (Dubai,
Abu Dhabi, Zhengzhou, Ordos)
merge together into a continuous
urban construct. As human
population expands, we see it as one
single macro city spread across the
continents. Other cities, mainly in the
developed world, (Detroit, Leipzig,
Manchester) demonstrate the
opposite tendency, because they are
shrinking at a significant rate.
We argue that most nations cannot
view the effects of planetary
population density through the lens
of just one city or region. Instead we
aim to reveal the long-range effects
of massive human population in
areas of present and future urban
intensity.
On the reverse side of the mapping
installation are focal points of
biological details in specific
localized city forms. They zoom in
on density zones that are dispersed
throughout the globe. These points
use the technique of
"bacteriography" (bacteria
photography) to shift scale and
underscore the highest zones of
growth. Our method creates a
real-time parametric display using
Gammaproteo Bacterium
Escherichia coli Strain K12 in agar
medium that has been genetically
modified to express color under UV
light. The strains used are harmless
variants of E. coli, commonly studied
all across Europe and the United
States. They have been utilized in
schools for decades without any
safety issues and are considered
non-pathogenic and innocuous.
The Bio City World Map forms have
been transformed with DNA that
encodes fluorescent proteins found in
sea anemones and jellyfish. This
enables those bacteria to emit red,
green, yellow and blue light under
long wave UV bulbs. The fluorescent
proteins are based on the discoveries
of Shimomura, Chalfie and Tsien,
who were honored with a Nobel Prize
for their work in 2008. Ultimately, the
bacterial photos grow to reveal
variant patterns of biological
transformation in urban regions.
Rather than using computer code to
mimic growth in nature, this method
is the actual iterative vehicle of
growth itself. Bacteria in this
constrained form and under the right
conditions, behave almost identically
to urban population patterns.
Moreover, the resolution of these
bio-based city patterns will change
with more nuanced biological inputs.
In many cases, they are as good as
computational versions because they
are the source which algorithms are
derived from. In time, the mapping
installation may illustrate patterns yet
unobserved in typical digital models.
It is this emergent and unfettered
map of population we wish to make
into spectacle. By using bio lab
based materials, we expect to narrow
the gap between idealized
mathematical interpretations and
observable events in nature.
URBANEER