What is? Wastelands are being developed due to undesigned parts of the tech ecosystem.
What if? These wastelands were decomposed to create industry and urban space?
What then? The waste trade would no longer be just a neo-colonial accident. Wasteland ecotones would become capitals for a thriving waste industry.
1 – ANTHROPOCENE
The landscape of the ecotones will be treated as the grounds of the Anthropocene as they are landscapes created by technological ecosystems. The soil is not ‘natural’ soil. Instead it is anthropogenic soils made of waste (e-waste, garbage, plastics, incinerator ash, food waste etc.) that are mined and cultivated.
2 – DECOMPOSITION
Decomposition is a process that enables biological waste to become soil again. It is a process that is necessary for ecosystems to become cyclical and attempt to create some form of sustainability. These decomposers will become machines for architecture that consume waste and produce built space.
2.5 – COMPUTATIONAL DECOMPOSITION (Not sure about this)
The landfill has its own geological structure as a result of the material dumped and environmental conditions. Geophysical surveys are carried out to characterise the structure of wasteland. In computer sciences, decomposition is breaking down of a complex problem or system into parts that are easier to conceive, understand, program, and maintain. Currently, the waste management industry employs a similar approach of understanding the wasteland as a terrain to introduce processes for maintenance. These wastelands will not just be biologically decomposed but also computationally decomposed. The interventions I introduce would need sensory organs to find the matter that they desire to feed on and position themselves in relation to concentration of specific feeding grounds. I am unsure because it may complicate things unnecessarily.
So two approaches to populating the wasteland would be as follows
3 – BACTERIA OR MOLD
The strategy would be to introduce a few small interventions for decomposing (for example, e-waste recycling or biogas pumping) and as these industrial processes generate income it would grow, creating a new ecotone between the wasteland and the city as waste is being . My aim is to make the architectural equivalent of a mold or bacteria. The reason why I distinguish between the two is because they grow in different ways. Bacterial growth occurs through cell division whereas molds are mostly single cell organisms that grow larger. Bacterial growth would denote more of a modular based architecture whereas a mold growth
4 – TERRAFORMING NIMBYS
The wasteland ecotone is a result of the culture of NIMBY (not in my back yard). So let’s cultivate the NIMBY to become a YIMBY (Yes in my back yard). Let the cultivation invite development and let the process of decomposing the material create the building blocks of the city. Waste is a potentially valuable resource, but it is exported because it is unattractive and unhygienic. The wasteland ecotone should change the relationship between urban space and hygiene.