Located in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, Terreform ONE is a non-profit architecture and design research group that uses innovative technology and designs to shape a social and environmental future. Their slogan “Design Against Extinction” clearly expresses their innovative use of biotechnology to increase biodiversity. SNF Paideia Fellow Abigail (Abby) Weinstein, a sophomore in the Weizmann College of Design and College of Arts and Sciences, is doing her summer internship at Terreform ONE.

Presentation of the structure of engineered living materials. (Photo: Courtesy of Abby Weinstein and Terreform ONE)

“It’s very exciting to work with new biological materials, to think of new uses for some everyday materials, to think about how different species live – how can we design something that embodies the aesthetic that we’re looking for and is also hospitable to them? How can we create something that doesn’t interrupt life on site, but rather encourage him to thrive? This internship, funded by the SNF Paideia programme, provides Weinstein with studio experience, outside of the academic environment, to explore her professional interests in a space engaged in cutting-edge sustainable design.

One day Weinstein might include 3D models of habitats used in designs of various kinds, and on other days he does more hands-on work. The studio is currently located in a space called Neolab, which is located within a larger innovation hub. “Being in that space is very exciting. Newlab hosts conferences and events,” she says. “It enabled me to interact with people outside of Terreform and hear what they’re doing, and it allowed me to meet more people and feel like I was in a wider space where innovation happens. . I know a lot of people will work from home for part of the week, but I rarely do because I really love getting into this place and being a part of it.

As an SNF Paideia Fellow, Weinstein approaches coaching through the lens of dialogue. “In terms of how it relates to SNF Paideia, we form a dialogue with our customers, but since our customers are birds and crickets and other species in New York, we have to think about having a conversation with a customer somewhere. A lot differently.” The final location for the project you’re working on will be in upstate New York, near the Storm King Sculpture Garden.

Work in Terreform ONE is defined as multi-genre design. Their clients range from companies that cost labor to species that are on the brink of extinction like the monarch butterfly. It is important to design spaces to meet the needs of these species because a healthy ecosystem requires diversity in order to thrive.

There are many different narratives about what the ecological future will look like. Living Architecture is one such narrative. One of the projects Weinstein is most excited about working on at Terreform One is engineering living materials (ELM). ELM is based on the idea that structures suitable for human habitation can be designed using living materials, making them suitable for other species while minimizing harmful environmental impacts.

This story was written by Lisa Marie Patzer. Read more at SNF Paideia.

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