Dressed in architect black and sporting dreadlocks, Mitchell Joachim isn’t your average Whole Foods envirogeek. For one thing, he speaks in an intense staccato punctuated with words like peristaltic and epiphetic. And don’t get him started on sustainability. “I don’t like the term,” he says. “It’s not evocative enough. You don’t want your marriage to be sustainable. You want to be evolving, nurturing, learning.” Efficiency doesn’t cut it, either: “It just means less bad.” Even zero emissions falls short. “This table does zero damage,” he says, thumping the one in his office. “No VOCs, no carbons. Whatever. It doesn’t do anything positive.”
Eric is a student still entering his final year of architecture at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY. Currently, he is researching and developing a proposal for the fabrication and genetic manipulation of a flesh based architecture - combining inVitro processes and tissue engineering with Cad/Cam prototyping. He is excited in utilizing this research as a tool to generate not only discourse but to aid in its realization.
TERREFORM, THE ECOLOGICAL RESEARCH AND ARCHITECTURE FIRM OF MICHAEL SORKIN AND MITCHELL JOACHIM, IS RIPPING UP THE PAVEMENT OF URBANPLANNING “…the ecological research, urban planning, and architecture firm of Michael Sorkin and Mitchell Joachim. These two architects’ work is full of epic ambitions and fantastical ideas, including city plans based on total urban self-sufficiency, houses made of growing trees, and soft, sheep-like cars that scrub the atmosphere clean with every drive. Of course, most architects have drawers full of unrealized blueprints. But Terreform’s architecture of ecological engagement sacrifices any pretense of pragmatism in order to reach for a realm of unbridled, futuristic innovation…”
Craig Bromberg, Samsung, p. 10/48 Fall 2007.
New York City is disposing of 38,000 tons of waste per day. Most of this discarded material ended up in Fresh Kills landfill before it closed. The Rapid Re(f)use project supposes an extended New York reconstituted from its own landfill material. Our concept remakes the city by utilizing the trash at Fresh Kills. With our method, we can remake seven entirely new Manhattan islands at full scale. Automated robot 3d printers are modified to process trash and complete this task within decades. These robots are based on existing techniques commonly found in industrial waste compaction devices. Instead of machines that crush objects into cubes, these devices have jaws that make simple shape grammars for assembly. Different materials serve specified purposes; plastic for fenestration, organic compounds for temporary scaffolds, metals for primary structures, and etc. Eventually, the future city makes no distinction between waste and supply.
Credits: Mitchell Joachim, Emily Johnson, Maria Aiolova, Niloufar Karimzadegan.
Positioned at the confluence of art and science, we are a tightly knit group of designers, artists and scientists who seek to develop new forms of biological products and designs using biotechnology. The skills and ideas each of us bring to this project will, we predict, synergize to produce radical new designs.
The time has finally arrived when the costs of biotechnology have diminished to make it financially practical for these tools to be applied by small groups of skilled and motivated individuals. In
essence, our endeavor harkens back to an earlier era of small craft workshops, albeit utilizing state-of-the-art techniques and resources.
Ever since the advent of novel forms of genetically engineered micro-organisms containing human and other genes, originally utilized as “protein-factories” if you will, coupled with the established
technologies of tissue culturing, we seek to develop not just new organisms, but synthetic ecosystems as well.
Until just recently, the application of these revolutionary biological technologies have been used almost exclusively by big-pharma and other large scale for-profit consortiums. It is seen in pharmaceutical companies carrying out massively parallel robotically guided screens for small drug molecules to the equally massive shot-gun screening of the human genome at the dawn of the new century.
This is contrasted with the relatively much smaller scale of cutting edge development carried out by academia, whose fruits of scientific labor are all too often co-opted by corporations. We aim to change this condition.
Co-Founders: Oliver Medvedik, Ph.D. and Mitchell Joachim, Ph.D.
Ben Shepard studies Philosophy and Visual Art at The University of Chicago. He’s a founder of the Chicago-based experimental-culture collective Ex-Lab, and currently researches food systems, untapped desires and the possibility of socialism in the 21st century.
Patrick R. Collins was born in the farmlands of Iowa, one man’s young dreams of becoming a cowboy popped as the realization that times were a-changing and a livlihood rounding up steer just wouldn’t make it in this day and age. New York City’s air quality was one area in which he could make a difference. He is producing an outline of resources which could help our city further reduce air pollution emissions.
Mitchell Joachim: Location is everything. It’s a little too nebulous to say that, ‘here’s a ton of money — please give me a city from scratch.’ A lot of it is based on where it is.