Peek under the corner to see the building ;)

Veronika Valk at the XIII Venice Architecture Biennale

Estonian architect Veronika Valk (ZiZi&YoYo) presents two of her latest projects, "manibor" and "mariBIOr”, at the XIII International Architecture Exhibition la Biennale di Venezia. Valk is one of the selected architects who contributed to the exhibition “100YC” (“100 Year City”), curated by Tom Kovac and hosted until November 25th 2012 by the A plus A Slovenian Exhibition Centre in Venice. Both "manibor" and "mariBIOr" deal with the future of Maribor (Slovenia) and were developed in collaboration with architect Toomas Tammis (Estonian Academy of Arts) and architecture students from the Estonian Academy of Arts during the Synthetic Biology workshop in January 2012. Presentations of "manibor" as well as "mariBIOr" are both included in the catalogue of “100YC”.

Studio Leaders: Veronika Valk, Toomas Tammis
Students: Eve Komp, Kristi Tuurmann , Artur Staškevitš, Hendrik Väli

In the beginning of 90-s a new bacteria called Paenibacillus vortex was discovered. It is a social microorganism that forms colonies with complex and dynamic architectures. The bacteria collectively senses the environment and executes distributed information, processing and assessing relevant data. Compared to other bacterias, the exchange of information / transduction of Paenibacillus Vortex presents a highly evolved behavioral pattern, acting as an effective social network. Rapid access to information from the environment allows the colony to restructure itself instantly. The information is used by bacteria to reshape the colony while redistributing tasks.

City as a complex organism could be capable to act more effectively when handled similarly to such a bacterial colony. The availability of information and abilities to self-organize are the keywords when speculating about the future of Maribor. Maribor is trespassed by nutrient flows such as people, animals, goods, food, information, electricity, water, sounds etc. Crossings of the flows encourage exchange of information. Diversifying and cultivating new junctions creates more intelligent and nutritious environment for a city. By adding/loosing/moving the information emitting attractors in a cityscape and thus influencing also the spatial locations and forms of the flows, the existing city tissue is re-organized in necessary directions. In hubs (junctions) different layers produce more connections (overlaps) so that diverse information (in dense environment) could move as freely as possible.

Studio Leaders: Veronika Valk, Toomas Tammis
Students: Johanna Jõekalda, Harri Kaplan, Kristjan Männigo, Laura Linsi, Tiia Vahula

“mariBIOr” proposes a system of adaptive connections which evolve over the course of next one hundred years from now. The qualities of spatial proximity in human scale will guide Maribor towards a more interconnected topology across the spatial gap introduced by Drava river. The emerging new connections are not dependant on the old grid but rather find themselves as optimized configurations which appreciate intimacy. The evolving bridge-like system helps to turn Maribor into an autotrophic ecosystem. The construction-method in use originates from a biological process of bone healing and its regular reshaping in time. The mariBIOr bridge structure resembles the process of bone tissue generation and senses the movement pattern and preferences of citizens, adapting accordingly. The healing structural mechanism uses humans as swarm intelligence, allowing them to be architects of the network.

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Veronika Valk
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