Venice Biennale 2016 – With the Life Object exhibition, the Israeli Pavilion at the 15th Venice Biennale showcases the joined effort of architects and doctors, engineers and scientists to create a more sustainable built environment with biology-driven solutions. Visitors are welcomed by a massive bird’s nest made of synthetic and natural materials to discover how cancer research can help us to prevent urban over-densification and how a surgical operation in the womb suggests a cure for the endangered Dead Sea.
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Key-concept of the exhibition is Resilience. “Living organisms are resilient, they transform and evolve to adapt to the surrounding environment. Applying the new frontiers of biological research to architecture can help us to find new resilient solutions for a more sustainable future” says to ArchiPanic Ian Sternthal of Sternthal Books Inc that published the catalog-essay of the exhibition.
The 16-meter-long bird’s nest installation made of bio-synthetic and natural materials is developed by 3D scanning a the home of Jordan sparrows. The so-called Life Object undulates and curves throughout the lower floor of the pavilion at Giardini. “Bird nests are a free-form complex structure, extremely light, robust and highly resilient that is made of weak and light found-materials without using joints or glue” explain at the Israel Pavilion.
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Camouflaged between the knitted twigs, special “cells” react to human presence and open up revealing biological materials which are expected to have a significant impact on architectural design and construction. Walking to the upper floor installations, videos and models of seven cutting-edge projects envision future biology-driven architectures.
THE BREATHING BUILDING proposes a bio-inspired ventilation and air conditioning system that mimics our breathing process. Architects Farah Farah, Moti Bodek, and Professor Elad David designed a structure with two legs into the sea that mimics the physical self-regulated mechanism in the nasal cavity. Air is pump into the building’s and mixed with constantly fresh water both from under the earth and from the sea. A solar powered system and a special skin that sucks polluted air allow constant ventilation.
CURING THE DEAD SEA FROM THE WOMB. Architects Dan Eytan and Ruth Lahav with doctor Boaz Tadmor M.D. link the Dead Sea degeneration to the TTTS, Twin-to-Twin Transfusion Syndrome. Due to an anomaly in the fetal blood vessels, identical twins relying on the same source of nutrients receive unbalanced supply and start to engage a dangerous relationship: one embryos transforms in a recipient while the other becomes a donor. This situation causes dispropotion in the growth of the twins causing major damages to both and the mother.
Due to the exploitation of its resources, the Dead sea shrank into two dying twin lakes: the southern lake (the recipient) in danger of flooding the surrounding hotels and as it draws water from the northern lake (the donor) that is drying up and became inhabitable. The researchers propose to apply the medical solution for TTTs to the Dead sea: to separate the two twin lakes and feed them -with water- independently in order to rebalance the emergency. Today the northen lake is abandoned. The team proposes to build floating islands creating lagoons facing the shore and developing new ecosystems.
BIO SMART CITY 3.0 – Architect Tagit Kilmor of Knafo Kilmor Architects and professor Ronit Satchi-Fainaro present an interactive installation which applies the biological process of angiogenesis – the growth of new blood vessels from pre-existing ones which is detected in case of cancer, diabetes and circovascular diseases.
The installation suggests to map the circulation of people the way doctors monitor blood circulation in the organism in order to detect over-densified areas in a building or a city. Tubes with coloured liquids snaking through two plexiglass towers indicates healthy and unhealthy levels of habitation as well as processes of healing.
On show also the Live it project that digitally maps the natural erosion of coastal cliffs in the city of Netanya. This project seeks to apply the Nobel prize winning research of Professor Dan Shechtman in crystallography to the field of urban planning, in order to create new tools capable of recognizing and analyzing spatial behavior patterns through the synthesis of Big Data.
The Life Object exhibition features also a sustainable nano-cellulose design shelter, a study of the bigdata of the city of Haifa analysed with a medical approach and the Behave installation that that extends advances in genetic engineering to the realm of spatial and interactive design.
The Life Object exhibition is curated by architects Bnaya Bauer, Arielle Blonder, Noy Laza- rovich, scientist Dr. Ido Bachelet and Dr. Yael Eylat Van-Essen. The exhibition is completed by a website and an extensive publication by Sternthal Book Inc which features also special insert that pair biology lexicon to architectural research.
Images: courtesy of the Israel Pavilion.