Citizen Evolution, by Marei Wollersberger and Jessica Charlesworth, wonders how citizens of the future might harness the emergent technologies of today to create new social structures and sustainable service models.
The duo have situated 4 hypothetical scenarios in Vienna, on display now in the Project Vienna—A Design Strategy, How to React to a City? exhibition at the MAK Vienna through September 12th.
In their envisioned scenarios, the state has giving the citizens maximum authority by obligating them to live in a self-sustaining way. The result are services that make the most of every ecological opportunity, from pigeon poo fuel cells to an insect-based pharmaceutical distribution network.
A biochemist birdlover of Vienna experiments with his flock to generate fuel for his home. He adapts the roof of his art nouveau house to plant seedbombs and attract pigeons to perch and feed. Over a period of time as they deposit their waste, the pigeon poo is scraped and washed off the roof. Gradually the slurry is infused into the extracellular biomatrix and combined within the anode of a microbial fuel cell.
The most fit-for-purpose pharmaceutical distribution network for that area of city is via the mosquito. The Gänsehäufel offers the best conditions of a wet and warm climate ideal for breeding vast quantities of the mosquito. The accelerated evolutionary cycle of the mosquito ensure it is strong enough to suck the blood of the pigs and virally pass on the antibodies to the human population.Not only smart and inventive, the project is especially accomplished in its sensitive treatment of Vienna. Each scenario focuses on a feature integral to a citizen's experience of the city and weaves it into a rich, new ecology. For example, Zentralfriedhof, Vienna's central cemetary, becomes a power plant and the Danube helps feed microbes that induce rainfall.
The popular central cemetery of Vienna, Zentralfriedhof, becomes the central citizen powerplant hub and continues to become not only an opportunity to visit the dead but as a place for people to harvest energy from their deceased relatives.
A massive canal is dug around the natural basin of Vienna and the Danube is then channeled. Citizen bioscientists build a'cloud missile' to impregnate the low lying cumulus clouds with bacteria that will generate clouds and trigger rainfall.
Read more about this project here. If you're in Austria, the scenarios and accompanying illustrative objects are on view now at MAK Vienna.