Deep Green | The University of Melbourne

Marco Poletto about Deep Green at The University of Melbourne, 2020

The impending ecological crisis has spurned a race towards re-greening our cities and our architecture. However, “green” ideology hides a nagging paradox. It proposes a sanitised vision of urban nature that renders it ineffective towards establishing a new circular economy of matter, information and energy. The PhotoSynthetica project proposes an architectural habitat for the urban microbiome, foregrounding nature’s “dirty” side. Powered by the sun and monitored by AI, it hosts cultures of living cyanobacteria that feed on what buildings expel (CO2, pollution and heat) to grow high value biomass (energy and food). Their in-human efficiency engenders a new kind of architecture. No longer a mere container of functions, like in the modern machine for living, it becomes itself a dynamic process of production, a living machine.