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Faber Futures | Experiment no. 5 | Rise and Fall of a Micropolis

[Project Completion: 2017]
Rise and Fall of a Micropolis is the fifth iteration of the Faber Futures project seeking to establish craft-orientated methodologies for printing and dyeing textiles with pigment-producing bacteria. Here, the design variable under investigation is time: bacteria is cultured with silk textile for 816 hours (34 days). This presents a narrative cycle of life that is dependant on the rhythmic availability of energy and resources. Parent cells give way to daughter cells in a perpetual choreography of feeding and hydration, without which the organism’s metabolic activity declines to a sure death. Under laboratory conditions, competition for resources is eliminated by maintaining sterility in the inoculation chamber. The project is both a direct metaphor of human dominance on the earth’s fragile ecosystems, as it is a serious enquiry into the resource implication of prolonged incubation, and the visual aesthetic consequences resulting from this protocol enhancement. The material artefact produced in the experiment is a site to consider the collaborative performance between the designer and the micropolis, exposing an apparent symbiosis between the two actors.

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Natsai Audrey Chieza

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  • Reprogrammer of Nature

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  • textile designer

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