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Sentient Species

Part 1 Project 2002
Candas Jennings
Louis Scott
University of Westminster London UK
The biomorphic laboratory is an experimental garden in Batatown, East Tilbury, dedicated to the investigation of strategies for the realisation of the Attractor House. Designed to serve as accommodation for transient workers of the future, the Attractor House forms part of a study in the manipulation of physicality as a response to notions of impermanence. These include fluctuations in emotional and behavioural patterns of occupants and changes in internal and external conditions. Daily experiences become part of the fabric of the architecture over time, the building using its heuristic abilities to become as unique as the individual who occupies it.

The design of the laboratory is informed by the phenomenon of tropism. Tropism describes the directional movements of growth and other kinds of motion such as geotaxis and phototaxis made by plants and animals under the influence of external stimuli such as light, water, and electricity. In the biomorphic laboratory this is manifest in the reaction of various structural species to ambient stimuli, informing the organisational layout and inducing animation. The species form an evolutionary hierarchy, ranging from zygotes fostered by individual site workers to full-scale prototypes.

The programming of these exemplary structures originates in variations in wind speed, temperature, light levels, pH, soil moisture and humidity as measured on site. Each specimen acts as an indicator, making manifest small and otherwise indiscernible changes. Invisible stimuli including transfer of ideas and information become more tangible when interpreted as physical changes within the garden, enabling workers and visitors to experience aspects of their surroundings of which they would normally be unaware.

Candas Jennings
Louis Scott


We encourage all our students to design experimental architectures dedicated to making, using and pleasure.

Candas' pleasure is science and it can be felt in her design for a laboratory garden at the Bata Industrial City in Essex.

Like all gardens, Candas' laboratory is alive, teeming with experimental structures, all of them linked in a complex and evolving form whose primal aim is the realisation of an architecture that is truly responsive.

2002
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