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…this was a research based design project culminated in September 2010 at the Bartlett, London. It was borne from earlier fascination and research in self-organizing, bottom-up biological systems and how they could possibly influence new parameters within architecture. It started in a micro-biology lab where the growth, documentation and analysis of slime mould encouraged the creation of a speculative, living architectural material technology- a Material Internet, where the cellular rhythm of slime-mould was harnessed as a biological social-networking system, accessed and deployed through the alchemical relationship it has with gold, essentially communicating by atmospheric engagement through the gold surfaces within Freemason’s Hall in London. In its simplest beta-terminology, it could be compared to a living Morse-code system, where masonic ciphering provided dual coding between the biology of the material and information stored and transmitted within it through the building. The program took on a narrative inspired by Masonic ritual, envisioning the situation and consequences of the users engagement with the living technology through plan, section and axonometric of the Hall that overlaid the biological clock of the Material Internet with a new architectural framework based off the ritual and Solomons Temple, and revealed a strangely interesting set of clues about how the users might utilize this prospective technology through the bodies senses, inevitabley suggesting a new architectural model for constructing the Masonic Temple.
The video documentation from my laboratory growth experiments and analysis of physarum slime mould under differing conditions of temperature, light, humidity and, food path and location. Most riveting of the documentation is the change in cellular rhythm over the duration of the video documentation as the system adapts to the environment of the laboratory, light of the microscope and location of the food I tease it with from the regulated conditions of its regularly kept containment cooler (at 20C). The ebb and flow of the cellular rhythm within the biological system has recently been heavily studied by micro-biologists and computer scientist abroad. However, it is the brilliant Unconventional Computing team at the University of West England at Bristol where the first slime-bot was assembled utilizing the cellular rhythm of the slime mould linked with a micro-fluidic chip.