On May 28th, Dirk E. Hebel and Felix Heisel opened the exhibition Daring Growth at this year’s Venice Architecture Biennale in the presence of ETH president Lino Guzzella.
The installation calls for a radical paradigm shift in how habitats are materialized. The mining-based mentality must move towards an ethic of cultivating, recycling, recovering, breeding, raising, farming, and even growing future building materials. Decentralized, local and renewable production strategies and methods that do not deplete the planet’s resources or energy reserves must be given priority. A shift in attitude would allow developing societies to provide themselves with the building materials required for secure and dignified shelter without forcing them into economic dependencies.
Our contribution to ‘Reporting From the Front’ takes the form of a laboratory showcasing research work produced at the ETH Zürich and the Future Cities Laboratory Singapore in collaboration with partners such as MycoWorks Inc. in San Francisco and the Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences at the TU Delft. The exhibition features examples of new building materials derived from mushroom mycelium, bacteria, grasses and waste. It also displays the power of an international, interdisciplinary network of researchers, academics and professionals working on commonly defined challenges.
Palazzo Mora, “Time Space Existence”
La Biennale di Venezia, 28 May – 27 November 2016
This exhibition would not have been possible without the generous and continuous support of the President of ETH Zürich, Prof. Dr Lino Guzzella, whom we would like to thank for his unrestricted encouragement, trust, and sustenance. We also would like to thank the rector of ETH Zürich Prof. Dr Sarah Springman and Vice President of research ETH Zürich Prof. Dr Detlef Günther for their reassurance and believe in our commitment and research.
We are especially indebted to Annette Spiro, Dean of Architecture at ETH Zürich, not only for her support of this exhibition, but in general creating an atmosphere of unlimited trust and backing without research and innovation would not be possible.
We deeply thank the whole team of the ETH Future Cities Laboratory in Singapore, above all Peter Edwards, Stephen Cairns, Kees Christiaanse and Remo Burkhard. Within FCL, relevant research was developed over the past years in various fields, which did not only fuel this exhibition, but scholars and professionals all around the globe and especially at the ETH in Zürich.
We are extremely grateful to Prof. Dr Gerhardt Schmitt and Prof. Dr Marc Angélil for their incredible mentorship, help, and intellectual as well as physical support. Without them, our work would not be possible.
Tobias Klauser and Carlo Lienhardt, through their incredible professionalism and critical assessment of our ideas and work, made this exhibition a project in its own. We would like to acknowledge their unrestricted dedication and support as partners, friends, and advisors.
Special acknowledgements go to ETH Global, Jürg Brunschweiler, for all of his continuous help over the past years. Thanks also to ETH Foundation, Corinna Adler, for her dedication and energy. Also to Hannes Schmid, who opened eyes and doors to new intellectual terrains and professionals. Matthias Büttiger and Markus Reinhard for their encouragement, spontaneous courtesy, and incredible generosity.
We thank GAA Foundation for the possibility to exhibit our work at the 16th Architecture Biennale in Venice. We are grateful to our partners of TU Delft, Henk Jonkers and Leon van Paassen as well as Mycoworks, Phil Ross, Sophia Wang, and Eddie Pavlu.
Special thanks to all members of our own team: Dustin Fleck, Sophie Nash, Ruben Bernegger, Manuel Fernandez, Christine Wöhner, Raphael Disler, Tobias Fuchs, Aurel von Richthofen, Alireza Javadian, Simon Lee, Philippe Müller, Marta H. Wisniewska, Patrick Chladek, Nikita Aigner, Philippe Jorisch, Amélie Fibicher, Hans Rufer.
Special thanks to Prof. Dr.Philippe Block and his team, especially Cristian Calvo Barentin for all the support and help.
Also to Uta Bogenrieder who did all graphic design works for the exhibition.
Our deepest thanks and gratitude go to all of theses individuals and organizations for their trust and the unrestricted possibilities to operate at the front of our discipline and sometimes even beyond.
Dirk E. Hebel and Felix Heisel, Zürich, May 2016
Our deepest gratitude to all sponsors and supporters of this exhibition:
ETH Zürich, ETH Global
Department of Architecture, ETH Zürich
Future Cities Laboratory Singapore
Chair of Information Architecture Prof. Dr. Gerhard Schmitt, ETH Zürich
Chair of Architecture and Design Prof. Dr. Marc Angélil, ETH Zürich
Markus Reinhard, Nomis Foundation