I work at the intersection of design, strategy and research—by crossing boundaries between speculation and realities(s/r), research and practice(r/p), digital and analog(d/a), but most importantly between disciplines.

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(s/r)

Becoming Tree work in progress
Civics, de novo.
Raising Robotic Natives
Preventing Body Contamination

(r/p)

Human Instinkz forthcoming
Climate Sensing For Environmental Futures
Strategies for Social Design
Intention With Us
Mitfahrscheibe

(d/a)

UN/HIDE Lookbook
ZirkusZirkus / Nomads
FORMAT 13

Open Bridge

(2018/2012)

 Archive


Mark

Preventing Body Contamination—

Through air and nutrition

︎ Blade Runner 2049, Denis Villeneuve

The world has failed to holistically address anthropogenic climate change through mitigation. Rising temperatures start to topple established ecological systems.
        Ripple effects are threatening humans in various ways.
        Economic forces have paralyzed political efforts to implement sustainability legislation and the United Nations have given up on its sustainable development goals.
        Left to their own devices, local communities around the world start focussing on their own adaptive capacity. It is them who are at the front line of adaption.


︎ Max Olson, FutureBlind

In evolutionary biology, so-called fitness landscapes are used to visualize an organism’s adaption to the environment. Possibilities as topology—Mountains are the best stage of adaptation to environments, while organisms have to do small iterative steps.
        Whenever these step are bringing organisms up, they follow that trajectory until they reach a plateau from which they could only descend in any direction. In reality, there are not one but many strategies, endless hills and valleys. To reach to new heights, they sometimes have to cross a valley.
        The decision makers build walls around our plateaus. Resilience design tries to cement its local peak position; to secure the functionality of the existing social and political order. The possibility of imagining or creating other worlds disappears.

︎ Max Ernst, Marlene (Mother and son), 1940

The landscape of catastrophe needs to become our fitness landscape, a valley of opportunities.We need audacious, brave experiments that might send us across valleys and plains to eventually get somewhere else, somewhere better.
        In the words of Stephanie Wakefield:

“Experimentation must become the modus operandi; asking previously unaskable questions: What on earth could being be?”





In this world people modify their bodies to prevent contamination through air and nutrition–a case study on mycelium.





Fig. 1

Fungus properties research

Tables: Mycelium Running, Stamets, 2005

These are tables of the anti-viral and anti-toxic activities of fungi, based on the research of mycologist Paul Stamets and his book Mycelium Running.
        Particularly interesting are oyster mushrooms and Shiitake. Shiitake is antibacterial, antiviral is enhancing the functionalities of lungs and the respiratory system. It builds resistance against influence and pox.






Fig. 1

Pleurotus djamor (Oyster mushroom)

(Rumph. ex Fr.) Boedijn, Rumphius
Memorial Volume: 292 (1959)


Pleurotus djamor, commonly known as the pink oyster mushroom, is a species of fungus in the family Pleurotaceae. It is known by many different names.





Fig. 4

Scientific journal

Sketches, Notes

The mycofilter allows to clean polluted and toxic liquids. It consists of: Fungus spawn and is surrounded by sawdust, wood chips and corncobs. The best time to install the fungi is in early spring, so it has time to grow until winter. The spores have to be injected onto the medium within the nose.
        These might be tools, which were used to install and maintain the fungi. Very important is, to keep the fungi in an moist environment. Spraying water is necessary to keep the organism alive. The fruit, which might grow outside of the nose can be harvested and eaten.





Fig. 5

Nasal cavity with mycelium

Cavum nasi; cavitas nasi

The nasal cavity is a huge unused space within the human skull. It serves as the perfect environment for mycelium to grow. It can be maintained through the nose and is not influencing or influenced the process of eating.




Fig. 6

Fully developed fungus

Fungal fruiting body

The fruit of the fungi is not particularly interesting, it serves mostly as decoration. The roots, the mycelium is the actual filter. Since the mycelium is growing over time, it will transform the human face, too.




Fig. 7

Expansion of nasal cavity

Lateral wall, supratip, palate, frontal sinus, crista galli

The skull and its bones structure are going to be deformed over time. This drawing shows the grown state of optimum filter qualities and results. The human body  lives with the fungus in symbiosis.





Fig. 8

Levels of societal adaption

Individual, collective; short term, long term

In this world, aside from traditional protective technology, people started to experiment with modifying the body itself — from the ritual to the secular, from the short to the long-term — using internal fungi as symbiotical filter organism.    
        A community and eventually an entire society, sprouts from these practices.









“What on earth could being be?”

︎ Stephanie Wakefield




Concept, development, design with Philipp Schmitt and Aishwarya Janwadkar.

Thanks to Anthony Dunne and Fiona Raby at the Designed Realities Studio at The New School.
Mark