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  • Culture Cultures: The Biosentient City

    Molly MASON & Zherui WANG, "Culture Cultures: The Biosentient City."
    brooklyn NEW YORK

    Pratt Institute
    critics: Michael CHEN & Jason LEE.

    suckerPUNCH: Describe your project.

    Molly MASON & Zherui WANG: This thesis speculates that a biological paradigm of information collection, consumption, and manipulation is the next step of urban information interface development, because of its ability to promise a higher resolution of information capturing and consistent coverage.

    In addition to the hardware and software information interface, a programmed biological system—a wetware infrastructure—will participate the transaction of information in the urbanity of the future. With the advent of genetic engineering and microbiology, we have just began to expand the potential of using genetically cultured bacteria beyond yoghurt and beer, but as environmental toxin trackers, synthetic pharmaceutical products, and bioencryptors across scales. Yet, human body is already a site of microbial information rich zone. With a microbiota to human cell ratio of 10 to 1, these microorganisms provide profiles of the body and space they resides in and have significant implication of body, space and the city constantly in exchange of information. Stemmed from the spirit of scenario planning, this thesis intends to track these microbial information exchanges and ramification of this bioinformatic system in our city across scales, particularly the scale of a city, infrastructure, architecture and body.

    sP: What or who influenced this project?
    MM & ZW: Synthetic ciology; microbiome; ecological and evolutionary thinking; Philippe Rahm; Hugh Ferris; and Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari.

    sP: What were you reading/listening to/watching while developing this project?
    MM & ZW: Reading: Paul Virilio; Gilles Deleuze; Félix Guattari; Biopunk; and David Gissen. Listening to Hans Zimmer. Watching: science fiction (Gattaca, Code 46) and Ray and Charles Eames, Powers of Ten.

    sP: Whose work is currently on your radar?
    MM & ZW: François Roche; Neri Oxman; Greg Lynn; Young & Ayata; and Brandon Clifford & Wes McGee

    Additional credits and links:
    [zheruiwang.com]

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