CyberGarden is an ongoing research project developed by Ecologic Studio. This project represents the 4th iteration and exists as a multilayered, intelligent system that passes information between these layers via material, electronic and biological information. It utilizes a network of radiation sensors and connected to custom designed and programmed robotic arms and a parametric digital model. The physical prototype and digital model engage in a generative dialogue and co-evolve over the course of each exhibition. The petri dish components are made of translucent perspex and when added to the physical model cause a change in the lighting filed. This in turn will affect the digital plan and triggers the emergence of other gardening components to be designed, cut and added on.
The Robotic Canopy functions as a self-regulating shading system through the differentiated cultivation of the bacteria components. The embedded robotic arms provide controlled and varied amounts of nutrients and heat to the units of bacteria held within each “leaf”. This causes a variable growth rate in the bacteria which, in turn, varies the opacity of the canopy across the field. The feedback loop to the arms occurs via the light sensors which register the change in shading below the canopy. This data informs the overall path and velocity of each arm and is also registered within the digital model.
Bacteria are invisible organisms that populate every environment on the planet; Like all living organisms they develop a behavioral ecology that connects them with their ecosystem and with the different specimens that live within it. Until recently the only way to inhibit the growth of some bacteria (and to foster the growth of others) within an environment was to “erase” them through the use of disinfectant or antibiotics. Bacteria were thus eliminated with a percentage of 99,9% but tended to re-colonize the environment after a period of time.
CyberGarden 4.0 was developed for the 2011 Smart Geometry Conference in Copenhagen.