MetaboliCity: designing environment for life

english with russian translation

The UN predicts that over the next twenty-five years nearly all population growth will be in the cities of the developing world. At current rates, sixty percent of the world’s total population will live in cities by 2030.

For the first time in history, the majority of us live in cities and, with world population steadily increasing, there is a growing demand for resources such as land, energy and food. In most cases rapid urbanization displaces the natural environment and does not employ the ability of botanical life to regulate climate, water run off and pollution. Too often the outcome is an inefficient city environment with harsh living conditions. Few of us realize today the importance of plants for everything that keeps us alive from oxygen to water, energy and food.

How can we create living environments that synthesise both living matter and technological tools through the convergence of biology, ecology, architecture and design? How can we re-integrate nature into our cities to positively combat key issues ranging from community cohesion and pollution to obesity and sustainable food production? What is the role of designers in this process?

This was the subject of a talk by designers Rachel Wingfield and Mathias Gmachl from Loop.Ph design studio at Strelka. They spoke about the project Metabolicity, founded at 2008 and based at Central Saint Martins School of Art and Design.

MetaboliCity is a vision of a city that metabolizes its resources and waste to supply its inhabitants with all the nourishment they need and more. It explores how designers can intervene sensitively within local urban food growing cultures and catalyse larger positive changes in the surrounding environment.

This year Rachel and Matthias will be at Art Ovrag 2013, an annual festival of new culture. Together with a team of volunteers they will build a 3D installation in the form of the word “Vyksa” – the place where the festival takes place. You will be able to watch their work in progress between May 31 and June 2.

Loop.Ph design studio web-site
Metabolicity project