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Idea by

Andrea Ling

http://andreasling.com

, Canada
Andrea is an architect, artist, researcher working in design, fabrication, and biology on wearable sculpture to responsive environments. She is currently focused on bio-mediated design. She is the 2019 artist in residence at Ginkgo Bioworks and was a research assistant at the MIT Media Lab where she worked on a set of bio-degradable skins entitled Aguahoja. Andrea is a founder of designGUILD, a public art collective and is a former project lead for Philip Beesley’s immersive kinetic sculptures.

Design by Decay, Decay by Design


Rethinking firmitas in architectural construction

Design by Decay, Decay by Design


Rethinking firmitas in architectural construction
To embed decay mechanisms in a series of architectural prototypes as a study in regenerative construction.
File under
Type of project
  • Systemic changes

My image is of a rock painting that is ~70000 years old. The painting remains vibrant because symbiotic red cyanobacteria and black fungi have consumed the original pigment and colonized the original drawing, rendering the image in living pigment and lending durability not possible with man-made pigment. This is a model of what architecture could be if it leveraged biology’s power to adapt, repair, and replicate in its process, creating longevity and firmitas out of responsivity and renewal. In biology, one system’s entropy is another system’s organization. For my project I wish to harness biological degradation as a fabrication process and develop a series of architectural prototypes that exhibit designed decay, such that it is not only destructive but also transformative, and that the altered prototype gains new desirability with the decay process. It points to an alternative design practice where the process of making and breaking things is provisional as well as consumptive.


Prototype Life Cycle Diagram with potential decay patterns

Prototype Life Cycle diagram with potential structural decay embedded

Design by Decay, Decay by Design


Rethinking firmitas in architectural construction

Design by Decay, Decay by Design


Rethinking firmitas in architectural construction
To embed decay mechanisms in a series of architectural prototypes as a study in regenerative construction.
File under
Type of project
  • Systemic changes

My image is of a rock painting that is ~70000 years old. The painting remains vibrant because symbiotic red cyanobacteria and black fungi have consumed the original pigment and colonized the original drawing, rendering the image in living pigment and lending durability not possible with man-made pigment. This is a model of what architecture could be if it leveraged biology’s power to adapt, repair, and replicate in its process, creating longevity and firmitas out of responsivity and renewal. In biology, one system’s entropy is another system’s organization. For my project I wish to harness biological degradation as a fabrication process and develop a series of architectural prototypes that exhibit designed decay, such that it is not only destructive but also transformative, and that the altered prototype gains new desirability with the decay process. It points to an alternative design practice where the process of making and breaking things is provisional as well as consumptive.


Prototype Life Cycle Diagram with potential decay patterns

Prototype Life Cycle diagram with potential structural decay embedded


Idea by

Andrea Ling
Canada
Andrea is an architect, artist, researcher working in design, fabrication, and biology on wearable sculpture to responsive environments. She is currently focused on bio-mediated design. She is the 2019 artist in residence at Ginkgo Bioworks and was a research assistant at the MIT Media Lab where she worked on a set of bio-degradable skins entitled Aguahoja. Andrea is a founder of designGUILD, a public art collective and is a former project lead for Philip Beesley’s immersive kinetic sculptures.