Terreform ONE

PLUG-IN ECOLOGY: Urban Farm Pod with Agronomy
The Plug-In Ecology; Urban Farm Pod is a “living” cabin for individuals and urban nuclear families to grow and provide for their daily vegetable needs. It is an interface with the city, potentially touching upon urban farming, air quality levels, DIY agronomy techniques in test tubes, algal energy production, and bioluminescent light sources, to name a few possibilities. It can be outfitted with a number of optional systems to adapt to different locations, lighting conditions, and habitation requirements. While agricultural food sources are usually invisible in cities such as New York, the pod archetype turns the food system itself into a visible artifact, a bio-informatic message system, and a functional space.

Pedro Lopes, Robert Kovacs, Alexandra Ion, David Lindlbauer and Patrick Baudisch

Ad Infinitum
Ad infinitum is a parasitical entity which lives off human energy. It lives untethered and off the grid. This parasite reverses the dominant role that mankind has with respect to technologies: the parasite shifts humans from “users” to “used”. Ad infinitum co-exists in our world by parasitically attaching electrodes onto the human visitors and harvesting their kinetic energy by electrically persuading them to move their muscles. The only way a visitor can be freed is by seducing another visitor to sit on the opposite chair and take their place. Being trapped in the parasite’s cuffs means getting our muscles electrically stimulated in order to perform a cranking motion as to feed it our kinetic energy. This reminds us that, in the cusp of artificially thinking machines, we are no longer just “users”; the shock we feel in our muscles, the involuntary gesture, acknowledges our intricate relationship to uncanny technological realm around us.

Verena Friedrich

Vanitas Machine

The installation VANITAS MACHINE addresses the desire for eternal life and the potential of life-prolonging measures. Based on a candle which – by means of technical intervention – burns down very slowly, vanitas machine creates a contemporary analogy to the endeavour of prolonging the human lifespan with the help of science and technology.Being one of the classical vanitas symbols, a burning candle recalls the futility of the moment, the transience of human life and the certainty of the end of all existence. But is this end really still inevitable?In the course of the last two centuries, average human life expectancy has increased significantly in the industrialised countries. Moreover, in the context of scientific research the biological causes of ageing are being explored. Numerous theories of aging have already been developed pointing both towards physiological as well as environmental factors.One of the first theories of ageing was the so-called »metabolism theory«, which claims that the lifespan of organisms is reciprocally related to energy turnover and therefore connected to calorie intake, oxygen consumption and heart rate: The higher the metabolic rate, the shorter the lifespan of the organism.

Skylar Tibbits

Aerial Assemblies
Self-Assembly is a process by which disordered parts build an ordered structure through local interaction. We have demonstrated that this phenomenon is scale-independent and can be utilized for self-constructing and manufacturing systems at nearly every scale. We have also identified the key ingredients for self-assembly as a simple set of responsive building blocks, energy and interactions that can be designed within nearly every material and machining process available. Self-assembly promises to enable breakthroughs across every applications of biology, material science, software, robotics, manufacturing, transportation, infrastructure, construction, the arts, and even space exploration.


Марин Савва
مارين سوا

Algaerium is an in-vitro aesthetic photosynthesis system of microalgae for spatial installation of algal biotechnology in the urban environment. As a collective family, each member of Algaerium represents an urban bio-repository, floating biota, in which to preserve the microorganisms for their future biotechnological use such as bio-energy. Through displacement into the urban environment, Algaerium re-contextualises the sterile environment of the algae culture laboratory. I have incorporated and manipulated the endogenous yet ‘re-programmable’ biological processes of photosynthesis and bioluminescence.

Lech Majewski

The Roe’s Room
opera movie

In this “absolutely singular autobiographical film opera” (Time Out London), multi-talented composer, writer, director and artist Lech Majewski presents a stunning, intimate, and ultimately magical work of unbridled creativity. A ravishing ode to the imagination, THE ROE’S ROOM is a place where the energy of youth and the eternal power of the natural world triumph over the banalities and deprivations of the commonplace.Within their apartment, a father, mother and son bear the dulling yoke of an ordinary urban life. His mind and heart borne aloft by the cycle of the seasons and the images and music within him, the son transforms his cloistered existence into a richly poetic emotional utopia. As autumn arrives, cracking flakes of plaster become falling leaves. With spring, a cold hard floor comes alive with meadow grass and love beckons in the form of a beautiful young girl’s outstretched hand.

Thomas Feuerstein


The marble sculpture PROMETHEUS DELIVERED – a replica of Prometheus Bound by Nicolas Sébastien Adam (1762) – is slowly decomposed by chemolithoautotrophic bacteria. The acidic process water from the bioreactor KAZBEK penetrates the body of the sculpture via tubes and runs off the surface of the stone. The limestone turns into gypsum while the sculpture slowly dissolves. The biomass of the bacteria is the energy source for human liver cells from which the organic sculpture OCTOPLASMA grows. Inorganic stone turns into organic meat. PROMETHEUS DELIVERED is a play on words, referring to birth in the sense of “delivery”, and to the central importance of the liver in myth.

Dimitris Mairopoulos and Skylar Tibbits

Self-Replicating Spheres

Self-Replicating Spheres explores the processes of growth, encapsulation and division through macro-scale objects on an oscillating table. This project attempts to demonstrate synthetic cellular division and replication through non-biological physical objects, without the use of robotics. The individual spheres were created with a hollow shell and an arrangement of small metal spheres and magnets. This internal structure provides the force of attraction for growing connections, the flexibility and, ultimately, the capability to divide. By adding more spherical units and supplying energy in the form of the oscillating table, the system will continually grow and divide.


Synthetic Sustainability

Graham Thompson tries to redefine urbanism by proposing urban synthetic hyper structures that sustainably manage urban density, personal space, and communal areas. A fresh graduate from the Bartlett School of Architecture the proposal features undulated surface towers, farming zones, clean energy generating systems, green transportation facilities and recreational areas. The sustainable structure would come along a water depository within barren undeveloped land ready for zoning. The undulating bionic towers of the project would act as urban farming zones that promote local flora and fauna managed by the inhabitants for sustainable growth. These agricultural zones have individual harvesting grids with water filtration and nutrient monitoring systems. The tower canopies are layered with solar recharging zones to harvest solar energy and locally meet power needs. Graham also visualizes eco train stations for green transportation along with green service stations for eco car charging.


Nomadic Plants
Vegetation and microorganisms live in symbiosis inside the body of the Nomadic Plants robot. Whenever its bacteria require nourishment, the self-sufficient robot will move towards a contaminated river and ‘drink’ water from it. Through a process of microbial fuel cell, the elements contained in the water are decomposed and turned into energy that can feed the brain circuits of the robot. The surplus is then used to create life, enabling plants to complete their own life cycle. As Gilberto wrote in our email conversation, “The nomadic plant is a portray of our own species. It also deals with the alienated transformation of this new hybrid species that fights for its survival in a deteriorated environment.”


bio intelligence quotient house
Dubbed the Bio Intelligent Quotient (BIQ) House, the approximately €5 million building was designed by Splitterwerk Architects and funded by the Internationale Bauausstellung (IBA), a long-running exhibition series showcasing cutting edge techniques and architectural concepts, for this year’s International Building Exhibition – 2013.
A total of 129 algae culturing tanks are affixed to the East and West sides of the building via an automated external scaffolding structure that constantly turns the tanks towards the sun. The plant cultures are fed through an integrated tubing system, CO2 is pumped in as well.According to Arup’s Europe Research Leader, Jan Wurm, who collaborated with Splitterwerk on the project:The algae flourish and multiply in a regular cycle until they can be harvested. They are then separated from the rest of the algae and transferred as a thick pulp to the technical room of the BIQ. The little plants are then fermented in an external biogas plant, so that they can be used again to generate biogas. Algae are particularly well suited for this, as they produce up to five times as much biomass per hectare as terrestrial plants and contain many oils that can be used for energy.Not only do these tanks provide shade for every level of the building during the summer and biogas for heating during the winter, the facade itself collects excess heat not being used by the algae, like a solar thermal system. That heat can then either be used immediately or stored in 80-meter-deep, borine-filled borehole heat exchangers located under the structure. Total fossil fuels used in this process: zero.