An exploration of the relationship between human settlements and the distributed silk farming system through a multi-scalar design method which spans from data transformation to a bodily territorial system passing through the observation of silkworms behavior and the human body as farming vehicles.
Humans are obsessed with exploiting and redesigning the planet. Their evolution depends on other living and non- living matters all the time. Therefore, the rise of mass farming systems in many domains reveals humans ambitions and exercises that constructing and redefining the rules of non-human worlds. The metabolic rifts were caused based on such phenomenon. And the current situation is driving the planet into unknown directions. Nowadays, it is said that humans are making their own ways to the extinction.
Urban silk farming is one of the representative examples of humans acquiring bio-material from other living creatures. Our ancestors first met and then made use of the Bombyx mori on a morning of the year 2640 BC when a Chinese empress named leizu was having tea in her garden under a mulberry tree. A cocoon dropped in her teacup, then it was boiled and the silk inside resolved in the hot water. It is the top secret of farming and manufacturing silk for thousands of years in ancient China. Today, the secret of producing silk has been disclosed that is to get cocoons from silkworms and boil them to separate the silk and pupas. With the application of the silk material is expanding, a larger amount of silk is needed in modern cities. However, we cannot ignore the fact that the process of reeling and transport silk always cause environmental issues.
In this case, we start to think that in which way we cannot only meet the great demand for silk but also cause fewer contaminants. What kind of new farming modes could be proposed to meet such requirements? What will the new relationship between humans and silkworms be established in the system?
Without resorting to a nostalgic revival of the previous silk farming modes, we are speculating a post farming system that is distributed in the urban scale. Humans and silkworms will be mediated and cohabit in productive ways. Instead of establishing silk farms, each citizen is regarded as the unique farming unit, producing and consuming the silk products of their own. Thus the scale and the distribution of the farming system will depend on the way of people's aggregation and dispersion within the urban environment. The system is also a portable one that can constantly reprogram the city spatially.
In our project, we are not going to explore cutting-edge technologies of raising high production silkworms or eco- friendly silk reeling techniques. Instead, we are going to design the spinning substratum that helps us get non- woven textiles woven by silkworms. We extract silkworms spinning behaviors and stimulate a morphogenetic design methodology that spans below and above the conjunction of human and architectural scale. In this case, the morphogenetic processes are mobilized and stimulated by silkworms spinning preferences in different environments for the emergence of new patterns and forms.
By observing, learning and abstracting their behavior characteristics, we find out that the roughness of the spinning surface could be one key factor that helps people to control the silk output. It is possible to get different forms and the patterns of the silk fabric by changing the patterns and the resolution of the rough surface.
In order to make the silk fabric to be more relevant to its host, we defined the silk fabric as a new form of readable and wearable transformed human data. The real-time emotional data were collected and transformed into a bodily mapped pattern, then the pattern can be transformed into the substratum, and finally, we will get the fabric with mapped pattern upon.
In the urban scale, following the marketing strategy of introducing the new farming modes to the pioneers in the society, the distribution and propagation of the farming system were proposed based on the existing urban networks. In this sense, an intact structure of the post farming system was proposed both in human and in the urban scale.
Students | Fei Fei, Weiyue Fu, Chiawei Yang
Design Tutors | Claudia Pasquero, Filippo Nassetti
Theory Tutor | Zaroukas Emmanou