Terreform ONE [Open Network Ecology] is a non-profit design group that promotes smart design in cities. Through our creative projects and outreach efforts, we aim to illuminate the environmental possibilities of New York City and inspire solutions in areas like it around the world. We are a unique laboratory for scientists, artists, architects, students, and individuals of many backgrounds to explore and advance the larger framework of socio-ecological design. The group develops innovative solutions and technologies for local sustainability in energy, transportation, infrastructure, buildings, waste treatment, food, and water. These solutions are derived from the interface of design, science, engineering and synthetic biology.
Field of Work
Bio City Map of 11 Billion —
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. We chose colonies of E. coli as a method of analog computation using synthetic biology. 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. 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.
Post-Carbon City-State: Zoning for the Next Climate —
Carbon output from cities is embedded in everyday life, directly affecting climate change and rising sea levels everywhere in the world. New York City’s sea level rise is projected to reach a high estimate of 11 inches by the 2020s and 31 inches by the 2050s. Instead of investing in mitigation efforts and building for resiliency, what if we let the East and Hudson river submerge Manhattan and rebuild the new city in its surrounding rivers? We accept the inevitable and prepare for the aftermath by imagining the Post Carbon City State- a future Manhattan cleansed through the physical and spatial transposition of the East and Hudson River. Upcycled car tires represent the embedded post carbon materials that are the building blocks of the new city. We imagine the void that was once Manhattan as an algae production plant for sequestering carbon and supplying amino acids for food production and biomass for energy generation capable of reformative growth.
Plug-In Ecology : Urban Farm Pod —
The Urban Farm Pod is a “living” room for individuals and urban nuclear families to grow and provide for their daily vegetable needs. It is an interface with the city, potentially touching upon urban farming, air quality levels, agronomy techniques, algal energy production, and bioluminescent light sources, to name a few possibilities. It can be outfitted with a number of optional systems to adapt to different locations, lighting conditions, and habitation requirements. While agricultural food sources are usually invisible in cities such as New York, the Urban Farm Pod turns the food system itself into a visible artifact, a bio-informatic message system, and a functional space. The Farm Pod prototype uses a robotic milled rotegrity sphere for the under-grid structure made of reclaimed flat packed materials. A fully operable sub irrigation system and a shaped foam panels serve as sleeves for the potting elements. A digital monitoring platform relays information about specific plant health to the web.
Our vision for future iterations of the pod is to naturally grow structures over time, within a new form of mediated arboreal culture, to integrate the biological and mechanical elements more closely, to transform the object into one that grows and changes symbiotically. The Urban Farm Pod sets out a direction for healthy biological exchanges with urban inhabitants, and to contribution to the life of urban ecosystems that mediate between autonomy and community.