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Terreform ONE - Bio City Map: Biology as Computation

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Published on Dec 13, 2013

In the next 100 years we can expect human population to reach 11 billion people. Is this sustainable? We used the Buckminster Fuller Dymaxion Map to take a view of the world and look at the 25 densest cities on the planet. Our Bio City Map displays population density as a parametric graph on the front. The backside zooms in on each of these cities designed and built and grown inside petri dishes.
We chose colonies of E. Coli as a method of analog computation. Population density was represented in two different forms of bioluminescent E. coli under UV light. Glowing red E. coli represented future projections, while green represented existing conditions in cities. We used the dilution method in biology to show the range of densities of E. coli populations in each petri dish. Stencils derived from CAD files would shape the E. coli into specific geometries that display the current conditions in cities. This is an interdisciplinary project because cartographers, urban planners, biologists, and architects, were all working to think about a map of the near future of human population.

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