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2016 Venice Biennale: Israel Pavilion, LifeObject

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Morgan Day



  • Bnaya Bauer, Arielle Blonder, Noy Lazarovich, Ido Bachelet, Yael Eylat Van-Essen

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Project Description

The LifeObject exhibition revolves around the biological paradigm that draws an increasing interest in the field of contemporary architecture. It examines new relations taking shape between human beings and their environment, discarding the binary distinction between nature and culture.

The aim of LifeObject is to constitute a platform for an interdisciplinary dialogue between architecture and science as a formative process in the Israeli space. The exhibition joins biomimetic practices along with bio fabrication and synthetic biology, putting forth speculative local architectural scenarios, from the nano-scale to urban spaces and global environmental phenomena. Some of these proposals can be actualized, while others constitute new visions for the future.

‘LifeObject’ is a material exploration of the relationships between the artificial and the natural in the future built environment. Its starting point is nature’s iconic model of a home - the bird’s nest; an assembly of weak and light found materials with no additional joints or glue, out of which emerges a free-form complex structure that is extremely light, robust and highly resilient. Through an experimental process of scientific analysis, coding, material research and design, ‘LifeObject’ transposes the resilient properties of a bird’s nest into an architectural form.

At the center of the exhibition is the physical “Life Object”, a research installation that integrates artificial and natural elements into an organic system; composite, smart, and biological materials are combined to form a “living structure” that responds to its environment. It proposes a new way of thinking about systems of architectural production that operate simultaneously according to coded and random principles; a cross product of advanced technology and crafted fabrication.

Synthetic, yet profoundly biologically inspired, the materiality of the LifeObject demonstrates common biological characteristics. Self organization, adaptivity, variation, redundancy and low-energy synthesis present alternative design paradigms to the mechanistic architectural approach of strength and control, suggesting the interpretation of the LifeObject as a biological material.

The conceptual foundation of the exhibition centers upon resilience, an essential property of biological systems that refers to their ability to cope with shock or trauma. This concept bears increased significance upon Israel and its geo-political context, where states of crisis continually rise up, influencing quality of life and spatial design.
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