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Hy-Fi at MoMA PS1

The Living






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Project Description

Hy-Fi offers a captivating physical environment and a new paradigm for sustainable architecture. In 2014, we tested and refined a new low-energy building material, manufactured 10,000 compostable bricks, constructed a 13-meter-tall tower, hosted public cultural events for three months, disassembled the structure, composted the bricks, and returned the resulting soil to local community gardens. This successful experiment offers many possibilities for future construction.

We designed a new type of brick through an innovative combination of corn stalk waste and living mushrooms with root-like growth. The bricks are lightweight, low cost, and extremely sustainable. We then created the world’s first large-scale outdoor construction out of this material. We used biological, physical, and computational technologies to test the material’s durability, structure, and thermal performance, and to design a robust and viable temporary building.

This new construction material grows out of living materials and returns to the earth through composting at the end of the structure’s lifecycle. The manufacturing process engages bio-technology, agriculture, and industrial manufacturing. The composting process engages the municipal solid waste stream. In contrast to typical short-sighted architecture, our project is designed to disappear as much as it is designed to appear.
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