This project explores the potential of various near future smart materials, some of which might be ‘grown’ out of the complex material geology of post-industrial area.
Certain micro-organisms grown and engineered, using the architectural context as a feed is employed to harvest new natural-polymer.
Generating something of new value for local artists in Hackney Wick where have two notable characteristics: one is a historical “pocket of poverty”(Baker 1995); the other shows highest concentration of creative industries per m2 in UK.
The semi-living research interface needs proper environment such as architectural strategy to cultivate nature like system – temperature in a controlled area, feeds provision and metabolic rate, which is transplanted to urban petri dish.
Further research will explore hybrids of new smart materials and materials from existing local buildings and landscape. Building at the end of life provide Caco3 powder , minerals, and water purifier. Empty industrial warehouse generate glucose through algae photosynthesis on the gable roof top. Micro organisms and water are gathered from Lea Canal through glass pipes which also transport harvested materials and by-products.
This bottom up approach questions traditional notions of architectural production as solely ‘building’, instead explores emerging ecologies of ‘growing’ as a new hybrid architectural language. Also, this new spontaneous ecology could offer alternatives for thinking about how we could help local community to revive in an era of late capitalism.