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(Archive) Urban Reef

This project was part of DDW 2021

Urban Reef is an organization for climate adaptation and stimulation of biodiversity in the urban environment. Within this context we experiment with sustainable materials (amongst others mycelium and dredge), 3D printing, and computational design.

Urban Reef

Urban Reef’s vision is the urban environment as one, living ‘reef’ stimulating water circularity and biodiversity. Our work aims to facilitate humans and non-humans to not only live, but also shape the world together. In shaping the world together, the human condition is just one of many. To challenge the anthropocentric perspective at the Dutch Design Week, Urban Reef creates artefacts that interact with a manifold of natural processes.

Physical conditions such as humidity, temperature and sunlight can shape unique environments for different sorts of life. A variety of microclimates are formed by geometries generated by algorithms based on natural processes. These shapes are then 3D printed with organic materials such as clay, woodchips, paper pulp, spores and seeds. In a controlled climate cabinet or outdoors, the objects are then populated by fungi and plants. Our investigation looks into how these shapes create new relationships between fungi, plant, human and animal. How will the symbiosis at the artefact unfold?