STF#8 - 2023: Presentations
Developing the Architectural Symbiocene: at the intersection of natural, physical, and digital
The Symbiocene was described by environmental philosopher Glen Albrecht as opposed to the Anthropocene, when our species begins to renew a symbiotic relationship with natural systems, psychologically and technologically.
Over the last two decades, there has been an inching towards these ideas in the fields of architecture and design and as we progress deeper into a fossil-fuel-free future, it is exciting to explore how natural materials and biological processes can be (re)integrated into the architecture and construction industry.
As a part of PLP Labs’ ongoing research into developing sustainable material systems, we have conceptualised the use of timber at various scales and, more recently, biomaterials such as mycelium composites. Mycelium, the vegetative part of fungi, can be combined with almost any organic formwork or substrate, including waste generated in our homes and workplaces. The resulting composite is a hard sponge-like material that works well in compression, has a high strength to weight ratio and is fully bio-degradable.
These projects examine the evolving relationship between natural materials, buildings and how they can be brought closer together through the constantly developing techniques of computational design and digital fabrication.
Images created by and copyright of PLP
Abhinav Chaudhary is an Associate Partner at PLP Architecture and a key member of PLP Labs’ Computational Research Group with a focus on AR/VR, computational design, and material research. Prior to joining PLP, Abhinav worked at Orproject (Delhi/London/Beijing) on several award-winning installations, dealing with fabricating complex geometries in timber, metal, and plastic. He has also worked as a Studio Tutor at the Emergent Technologies and Design graduate program at The Architectural Association.