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(Archive) How to hope to be

An exploration in biobased building together with the community

This project was part of DDW 2023
bio-brick made with organic waste and mycelium — © Studio Catinca Tilea

Designer Catinca Tilea is exploring what it would be like if everybody could build with organic waste. Visitors of BioArt Laboratories are invited to grow a bio-brick. This social project explores how biotech could be used by communities to help rethink our relationship with the natural world.

Organic waste from your home = a building material

Household organic waste serves as a substrate for mycelium forming. This becomes a solid material that can be used to build with. Designer Catinca Tilea invites the audience to make bio-bricks, exploring how, why and what people could build with this material. The bio-bricks visitors grow during Dutch Design Week will be later assembled into an outdoors construction, on the terrain of BioArt Laboratories. People are invited to witness or partake into this experiment, getting a glimpse of how organic waste could be used in a resourceful way.

More community involvement in sustainable practices

The key feature in building with organic waste is that people would do it themselves in their neighbourhoods. Such a practice could considerably reduce the amounts of waste that we all create. It could also educate and make people reflect upon the current lifestyles we lead. The proposal is to use this biotechnique at the heart of community to empower people to help in a way that is meaningful to their surroundings.

We too are part of the ecosystem

We can no longer go on the same way we did so far. Our anthropocentric culture is slowly crumbling down our own 'habitat'. With her social experiment, designer Catinca Tilea proposes to enable existing knowledge of biotech as a social tool. This could help make the cultural shift we need so that we may understand that we too are part of nature.