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Engineered Ecologies

Part 1 Project 2013
Thomas Grove
Liverpool John Moores University Liverpool UK
Ecophage: Eco-House, Phagy- to consume

We are living in an age of global Ecophage, an age of planetary consumption and environmental degradation where the possibility of self-inflicted extinction has become a tangible reality, an age where the continued existence of our civilisation hangs in the balance. Humanity, having lost its way in the dark forest of life, has arrived at the crucial juncture between survival and decay.

This project is an exploration of the final solution to our environmental crisis. Proposing the implementation of geo-engineering and environmental modification as a redemptive tool to reconstruct and restore landscapes affected by extreme cases of manmade ecological decay.

The Aral Sea in Kazakhstan is both the inspiration for the project and its proposed site; in 1964 an executive order approved the diversion of the Aral’s two main feeder rivers to irrigate cotton fields in Uzbekistan and within a few short years one of the largest bodies of fresh water in the world, had vanished.

What remains of the Aral today is an apocalyptic wasteland, a barren torturous landscape littered with decaying Bio-weapon Laboratories and Nuclear Test sites, a place where toxic dust storms and rogue biological weapons have created an alien and inhospitable landscape where life as we know it has been pushed to the very brink of existence.
Faced with the very real danger of extinction at our own hands we can no longer continue to ignore these areas of ecological catastrophe. This project proposes the construction of a pioneering geo-engineering research facility amidst the contaminated ruins of ARALSK-7 a ruined Bio-warfare laboratory on Vozrozhdeniya Island, a rocky outcrop at the toxic heart of the Aral.

These ruins and the entirety of the island it to be repurposed into an experimental site for the large scale testing and investigation of restricted geo-engineering and environmental modification technologies. A self-contained habitat inserted into the contaminated landscape to function as both habitable research facility and regenerative machine, actively manipulating and reconstructing the surrounding environment decontaminating the landscape and replacing the wasteland with a new Eden.

“There is no great invention, from fire to flying, which has not been hailed as an insult to some god”
J.B.S Haldane (Daedalus)

Thomas Grove

Tutor(s)
Ms Gladys Masey-Martinez
2013
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