Taking the winning entries as inspiration, Protocol Architecture developed a final design project which would address the Germany and Western Europe’s rapidly declining population in 2050. We devised a radical plan for Berlin which would harness the massive geological power of earthquakes to selectively destroy sections of the old city while creating the potential for new spaces underground.
When silicon-based technology reaches its physical limitations, the quest for faster computation might shift in scale, with the endless bounds of the Earth itself being used to build the world’s first highly-networked Earth-based BIO super computers. This technology will be based on bacteria such as the Shewanella Bacterium, which has been found to weave micro-filaments capable of conducting electricity. If controlled, this bacteria could be deployed in the earth, weaving together a highly complesx and redundant computation network similar to the neural network of the brain.
In order to deliver this bacteria into the Earth, we proposed the injection of large amounts of fluid into several sites in Berlin, which would contain both the bacteria and food cultures necessary for survival. These injections would trigger fault lines, which would travel through Berlin, simultaneously depositing bacteria and destroying the old and under-utilized infrastructure. These faults would also create pockets of oen space underground which can be excavated by humans and adapted to inhabitation. These new spaces would allow humans to interact much more directly with this new technology, and would create a vibrant new urban fabric within old Berlin.
Living underground, or in the ground, has the advantage of ubiquitous communication. The earth is fully conductive where earth metals have encouraged Shewanella bacteria to release electric filaments, thus creating uninterrupted communication paths. Guided by cognitive and physiological inputs that align with their quorum sensing, microbial processors and receptors expand the concentration of electrons in the soil. Spaces in the ground expand on their own, but once people decide to inhabit them, they must build architectural prosthetics. Floors, windows, doors, elevators and tunnels must all be constructed in order to make the spaces accessible.