DNA Transcription Center

The quantity of digital data is doubling approximately every two years. The ability to store this data is not keeping pace with its growth. There is a drastic need for a new storage medium that efficiently and accurately stores data.

In the past ten years, scientists have found a way to encode data onto strands of DNA. The storage capacity is unprecedented, as one single gram can store up to 215 pentabytes (215,000,000 gigabytes) of information.

That means that all movies ever made can potentially fit onto a sugar cube-sized amount of DNA, and all of the information ever created into a single room.

What is now necessary is a new building typology that will facilitate the transcribing of data from servers (the machine) onto DNA (the organic). In terms of size, that means huge imput and microscopic output – setting up the framework for a fluxuating space, that would first dedicate the majority of its space to the server, and little to DNA, and invert this space distribution as time moves on.

Furthermore, the qualities of these spaces will have to be drastically different – what is a space for the machine and what for the organic? What are the spatial requirements that this building will have to implement in order to facilitate such different conditions?


Data transport, Data centres, Requirements

DNA Coding/Decoding Process

Trends/History of DATA Storage

Expanding/Contracting Volumes + Form Finding – Biology

Diagram of Program, using cell structure as a method of representation – depicting the shift from a space of 90% machine and 10% organic to a space of 90% organic to 10% machine. Once all the data is encoded onto DNA, the internal space is separated based on the importance of data – some of it is only relevant for 5 minutes (stock market), other for eternity (library of Alexandria) – giving birth to spaces of killing, birthing and regenerating DNA.


Questions to consider:

  • What timeline am I looking at? How long will it take for the expansion to happen?
  • What causes the expansion? I’d prefer a non-mechanic option (using Gravitational pull, tides, expansion of air,…?)
  • What is my site? I tend to gravitate to putting it into an urban context…
  • What is the DNA sourced out of? Plants/meat/?
  • What is its shape/structure?
  • How do we ensure safety?

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