Living Bricks / SEEM[N]EST

Tallinn Architecture Biennale 2017

Living Brick developed by UNEW;

Living Brick developed by LSG

The main curated exhibition, titled Anthropocene Island, takes place at the Museum of Estonian Architecture.
Estonian Museum of Architecture

Anthropocene Island explores a design method operating at the confluence of biology, computation and design. It explores a non-anthropocentric point of view on urbanity, based on the realisation that in our contemporary global world it is impossible to trace a clear distinction between nature and artifice, landscape and city, and ultimately between the biosphere and the urbansphere.

Living Bricks / SEEM[N]EST
Rachel Armstrong, Living Architecture Project and Newcastle University

A materially programmable structure for bioTallinn is proposed through the production of ‘living bricks’ based on developmental principles inspired by the Living Architecture project that is envisioned as a next-generation, selectively programmable bioreactor capable of extracting valuable resources from sunlight, wastewater and air and, in turn, of generating oxygen, proteins and biomass.

Conceived as a freestanding partition, it is composed of metabolically active bioreactor building blocks (microbial fuel cell, algae bioreactor and a genetically modified processor), which are being developed as standardized building segments, or bricks. These new species of brick for bioTallinn are bespoke design units that share the same ontology as Living Architecture.

One particularly large variety, SEEM[N]EST, comprises telluric creatures that can ‘speak’ chemically, physically, biologically, mechanically and even digitally with the living world. They no longer seem like the simple structures that seeded them and have become more arboreal in their organization. Starting their life as 3D printed stones, with parametric cavities designed to stabilise the shoreline, they are now appropriated and occupied by many agents such as birds, plants, water and chemicals. They assemble as walls to choreograph and catalyse a synthetic and spontaneous symphony of transformations.

Living Brick, Exhibitor in group show, BioTallinn, Tallinn, Estonia Architecture Biennale, September-October 2017. Keynote, Rachel Armstrong