Interview with Mitchell Joachim "Future Cities in the context of socio-ecology" YAPI/BUILD
Future Cities in the context of socio-ecology
Mitchell Joachim is the founding co-president of Terreform ONE, which is a non-profit organization known for its speculative and provocative design proposals for the future of the city. Members of Terreform One, who are mostly friends from some schools like MIT, Harvard and Columbia has come together rather organically and formed this multi-disciplinary team and after moving into the Brooklyn Metropolitan Exchange Building, they have been a part of the so called “Brooklyn Revolution” with many other artists and innovators who are called as the “makers”. Joachim has put forward a new field of research where an architect designs a car and an ecologist designs a building and he mentions that designers has recognized that they have to work in this heteretoxic (multi-disciplinary) environment to make any sort of change or innovation. According to Joachim, urban design is a very important field of operation that takes on many disciplines and it requires imagination that stems from what happens in tele-communications to vehicles or to future ideas of the nature and the city itself. Even though his research is strongly related to energy issues waste management and the nature itself. Joachim avoids to use the term “sustainability”. He claims that terms like “sustainability” or “echo-design” almost doesn’t mean anything and implies a survivalist routine and he adds that sustainability is about keeping the status quo and it hasn’t got enough heart and soul to make the massive change that they are expecting to create. In the “bio-map of the 11 billion” project Joachim and the multi-disciplinary team behind the project developed bio-synthetic display screens out of living systems. The coli bacteria are modified with a light illuminating jellyfish gene to glow in different colors and their geometries changed with the help of some computational parametric design tools. Eventually this living map shows a projection of the world’s population in 2110. Designing radical housing systems for the future of the city like Fab Tree Hab and In Vitro Meat House, Joachim lives in a beautiful, simple home in the historic Park Slope district of Brooklyn with his wife and two kids. Joachim thinks that there is an incredible logic in historic and traditional structures and he adds that he doesn’t want every house to be made out the meat and he thinks that these historical sites are unchangeable and fantastic. Criticizing the work of Richard Meier neighboring the Prospective park, Joachim tells that most of the so called organic buildings of the modernist period are not organic in any way because they are made of glass, steel and concrete. He believes that modern architects like Rem Koolhaas are Frank Gehry has made great contributions to architecture, but Joachim states that they’re not here to copy their masters and they are testing the boundaries with totally different types of materials and radical systems. Joachim concludes that they currently work on desktop bio-synthetic technologies and they don’t know where this technology is leading them to but he thinks that it’s a field which is widely open for exploration.