Project Persephone – Living Architectures
In this project we will consider the application of living technologies such a protocells, programmable smart chemistry, in the context of habitable starship architecture that can respond and evolve according to the needs of its inhabitants. This project has direct relevance to the challenges of the 21-century where our megacities & urban environments will grow at astonishing rates. Yet the building industry, utilities and energy companies necessarily lag behind the physical demands of a growing city and where inflexible infrastructures become inadequate or inappropriate then urban decay sets in with crime, homelessness, waste & resource management issues, traffic congestion etc. A habitable long duration starship will need evolvable environments that not only use resources efficiently but can respond quickly to the needs of populations and bypass the current necessary time lags that are implicit in the current system – in identifying critical upgrades and then activating industrial supply and procurement chains – which are already playing catch-up by the time they are realized. For the purpose of this project it is useful to consider cities as being the condensation of three essential agencies: technology, infrastructure and people. Together these make up their vital fabric. Currently the only one of these ingredients that can change to dynamic contexts is our community. But how much more dynamic would our cities be if our infrastructures and technologies could also adapt and change to meet varying contexts?