In late 2021, we covered a study by researchers at the University of Plymouth in the UK, which found that living wall systems can reduce heat loss from existing buildings by 31%.
The Plymouth study was symptomatic of a greater curiosity within architecture about the impact of integrating nature and biophilia with the built environment. In May, NASA undertook its own study to understand the potential of green roofs to lower temperatures in cities, while in 2019 our Studio Snapshot series included a reflection from Habitat Horticulture founder David Brenner on the growing interest in living materials in architecture.
“Living walls are often seen as an afterthought or a static prop in architectural design,” Brenner told us. “That said, the tide seems to be turning with proactive urban greening policies and the growing popularity of biophilic design. I think we are only scratching the surface to understand the impact living walls can have. »
Not surprisingly, a project incorporating walls, roofs or living materials requires a unique design team. For Brenner, the ability to design, install and maintain living systems requires “a motley crew of horticulturalists, landscape architects, architects, engineers, industrial designers and botanists”.
The same goes for Neri Oxman, a professor at the MIT Media Lab whose work frequently merges architecture with biology and materials engineering. In his profile on Netflix Summary: The art of design series, Oxman described his ideal team as a “Noah’s Ark,” with two architects, two engineers, two biologists, two data chemical engineers, and more.
How might architects function in this multidisciplinary environment? For clues, this week we use our Job Highlights series to explore the opportunities open to architects and designers at Terreform ONE (Open Network Ecology). Sitting at the intersection of art, architecture, and urbanism, the climate-conscious nonprofit research group is dedicated to “illuminating the environmental possibilities of habitats, cities, and landscapes across the world “.
Like the other examples in this article, Terreform ONE takes a so-called “transdisciplinary” approach to its work, where architects and urban planners are supported by biologists, computer scientists, artists, writers and engineers.
On Archinect Jobs, the group is currently looking for an Architect / Design Thinker to join their team in New York. In its job listing, the group emphasizes the need for individuals who are “beyond imagination, are collaborative, communicative, trustworthy and embracing experimentation.” Scheduled to work on Terreform’s NEW LAB project at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, the group hopes to hear from candidates with experience ranging from sketching the initial concept to building green/computer-based building systems.
“We operate as an interdisciplinary laboratory of specialists advancing the practice of social-ecological design,” states the group. “Our collaborative process includes speculations on how emerging technologies will impact future urban generations and local biodiversity. We focus on the intersections of ecological planning, biotechnology architecture, urban systems and public art.
The group’s previously published work confirms their focus on living systems and biotechnology architecture. While their Cricket Shelter suggests a new typology for introducing crickets into the modern American diet, their New York monarch butterfly sanctuary tower uses concrete, glass, and 3D-printed ETFE pillows to create a “vertical grassland.” 70 feet along an urban street. Terreform ONE provided our readers with more information in the comments section of our news article about the project in 2019.
Full details on Terreform ONE’s latest job opportunity can be found here on Archinect Jobs. Stay tuned for future job highlights and be sure to keep your eyes peeled for more exciting opportunities on Archinect’s industry-leading jobs site. Recent editions of our Job Highlights series have seen career opportunities for an Airport Terminal Planner at Corgan, a Draftsman at WholeTree Structures and a Building Simulation Analyst at EskewDumezRipple.