Forum for the Future's Futures Centre, based out of Singapore, is a global community to track change and accelerate sustainable action. April 24th 2017 saw the launch of its #LivingGrid conversation, which explores "how humanity might design an energy system that can continuously renew itself, making our lifeless grid more interactive and able to flex in response to the ebbs and flows of renewable energy, so that it behaves like a living system".
Themes include "what can human systems learn from the rest of life on Earth?"; "How would nature design our energy system?"; and "How can we behave less like consumers in an energy market and more like organisms in an ecosystem?".
#LivingGrid activities span online articles, discussions, and content sharing designed to highlight signals of change and encourage sense-making. Participants include architect Michael Pawlyn of Exploration Architecture, London; Ash Buchanan of Cohore, Melbourne; members of the Future Centre's team, Singapore; and myself.
Contributions to #LivingGrid will be compiled into a print publication launching later in the year, but, in the meantime, join the conversation and contribute your thoughts on building bio-inspired energy systems.
Read Sensemaking: Evolution at:
Read Sensemaking: Systems at:
Join the LivingGrid conversation at: https://www.thefuturescentre.org/livinggrid
Can you imagine London as the world’s first National Park City? What might place-making for both human and non-human species look like? In partnership with Time Out London, London National Park City campaign is calling artists, designers, illustrators, cartographers, urbanists, film-makers, developers, architects and landscape architects to help Londoners visualise the capital’s future as a National Park City.
The best entries will gain coverage across LNPC’s website and social media, and may also appear in Time Out magazine. Submissions may explore ideas with the potential to make an impact small or large, and embrace wide-ranging ways to help realise the London National Park City dream. The submission deadline for entries is Friday May 19th 2017, and entries may come from both individuals and teams.
I am delighted to join an array of expertise on the jury, including author Will Self; Grant Associates founder, Andrew Grant; Urban Futures lead at Future Cities Catapult, Gemma Ginty; senior researcher at London College of Communication Dr. Alison Prendiville; Director of Sustainable Development, Buildings and Places at AECOM, Ben Smith; Director of the Black Environment Network, Judy Ling Wong CBE OBE; Director of the Thames Estuary Partnership, Pat Fitzsimons; and invertebrate zoologist and general ecologist Dr. Steve Head.
For entries details visit: http://www.nationalparkcity.london/imagine
On March 9th I had the pleasure to join Michael Weinstock [EmTech, AA School], Marco Poletto [ecoLogicStudio], and Katya Larina [Landscape Urbanism, AA School] at The Bartlett’s Urban Morphogenesis Lab to critique the work of its Masters programme Bio-Urban Design Research Cluster 16. Led by architect Claudia Pasquero, together with a team including architect/researcher Emmanouil Zaroukas, the programme works “within a research agenda that addresses issues of morphogenesis and metabolisms through multi-spectral methodology that the Lab has named Polycephalum”.
The projects presented explored the potentialities of developing a range of biological materials, including bioplastic, microbial cellulose, and biorock, and of working with living organisms, including silk moths. Intelligent, inspired, and compelling projects, together with fellow jurors, I much look forward to seeing how the projects develop.
Delighted to be aboard as scientific advisor to Biosphere IV, which founded by theatre director Tom Bailey , brings together environmental historian Marianna Dudley, and cultural geographer Franklin Ginn, with University of Bristol, at-Bristol, the Mechanical Animal Corporation, and Bionic City, to develop "an artificially created space with live performance to help imagine and explore how we experience and adapt to life in the face of environmental change". Science meets Arts meets Humanities, more information is coming soon:
Joining Symbiartic's #SciArt tweet storm for the third year in a row, this year's contribution comes from the 'Flower Power' microscopic studies series, which has been ongoing since 2014.
Attracting a huge community of support, Symbiartic's annual tweet storm celebrates transdisciplinary practice at the intersection of science and art.
Engagement is simple: tweet 3 [or more] pieces of your own sciart; retweet 5 pieces of sciart by other tweet storm participants; hashtag your tweets #sciart.
Find out more at: https://www.symbiartic.com
For the love of nature, Bionic City is participating in the 'Show the Love' campaign, which run by the Climate Coalition, celebrates all that needs protecting in the natural world. The images featured in Bionic City's hearts are from the 'Sewing the Seeds of Love' microscopic studies series.
Participants of the campaign make and tweet a heart featuring a species or a habitat, using the hashtag #ShowTheLove. Find out more at http://fortheloveof.org.uk/
Inspired by a trip to Salina Turda [salt mine] in October, this month I decided to recreate some of the salt crystallization processes found about its interior. Reducing the macro to the micro, petri dishes, assorted glass vessels, an assemblage of natural materials, and saline solutions of various concentrations produced some beautiful results. The above images document a handful of the experiments in progress.
Further updates to follow. But, in the meantime, take a look at Salina Turda for yourself, via this vimeo short film.
ADAPT-r, on show at Ambika 3 gallery, London until December 18th 2016, explores the research processes of artists, architects, and designers, including several biodesign researchers/practitioners.
The exhibition concludes an EU funded research initiative that provided insight into 35 international creatives, including Marco Poletto, Claudia Pasquero, Anna Pla-Catala, Eric Guibert, Dr. Tom Holbrook, Marti Franch Batllori, Karli Luik, and others.
A highlight of the exhibition is ecoLogicStudio's installation, which investigates the potentiality of fusing folding architecture and bacterial cellulose.
Read more at: http://www.p3exhibitions.com/
On Wednesday 30th November 2016 I had the pleasure of joining peers Claudia Pasquero [cofounder, ecoLogicStudio/Urban Morphogenesis Lab, UCL/IaaC], Marco Poletto [cofounder, ecoLogicStudio, and Carnegie Mellon University], Ricardo de Ostos [partner, Naja & de Ostos], Emmanouil Zaroukas [The Bartlett], and Dr. Simon Park [University of Surrey], for the third in the BioSalon series.
Hosted at Ambika P3 gallery at the University of Westminster, the roundtable explored the intersection of biology, computing, and urban design. Poletto and Zaroukas presented ecoLogicStudio's experimental research in biological computing, which explores how microorganisms including slime mould, bacteria, fungi, and abiotic materials including salt can be used within urban design and architecture. Dr. Simon Park presented a selection of his collaborations with bio artists including Anna Dumitriu, including Bioluminescence: Bacterial Light Lab, whilst giving insights into the behaviours and processes of microorganisms. Titled 'Biome Shock: Anthropogenic vs. Ecological Intelligence', my presentation utilised Alvin Toffler's Future Shock as a tool for comparing and contrasting the difference in the former and latter. de Ostos presented some of his studios recent projects, explaining how the practice is exploring ecological systems as a means to inform architectural design decision-making.
Infused with thoughts and commentary from audience members, the panel discussion centered on some of the philosophical and wider ideological issues to hand, including the impact of the inherent bias in human decision-making, and where intelligence in anthropogenic, biological, and ecological systems converge and diverge.
BioSalon III was part of an ongoing series of events that bring together scientists, designers, artists, architects, and theorists, to converse wide-ranging aspects of biodesign, from scientific, technical and artistic potentialities, to ethics, philosophy, policy, and research practicalities. Collaborators include researchers and practioners from several universities including University of the Arts London, University College London, University of Greenwich, and the Royal College of Art.
Melissa Sterry, design scientist, systems theorist, futurologist, cross disciplinary designer developing Bionic City® & PhD Researcher.
Asking the question "how would nature design a city" since 2010.
© Melissa Sterry 2016 All Rights Reserved