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Architectural Chimerism

Published onMay 21, 2020
Architectural Chimerism

Since the discovery of DNA, scientists have dreamed of using it as a form of information storage. This is now possible. Text, images, video, and audio can all be encrypted and extracted in artificial DNA sequences. With a half-life approaching a million years in the right storage conditions, nucleic acid will be the new hard drive.



Architectural Chimerism is a speculation of equal parts design and prose. The project imagines what libraries might look like in a world where DNA has surpassed both print and digital media as a form of storage. As an organic substance, the DNA may be stored in the cells of a living organism, instead of on a shelf.




The scrambled DNA would react unpredictably, mutating and creating new monstrous species. As the creatures reproduce, new nonsensical books are written in genetic code. When the beasts die, a history of human creativity is dormant in their dead cells. 

The habitat for the creatures reflects their genetic nature: it is a conglomerate of human achievement. Three environments are shown, an aviary, a cave, and a reservoir. Each reprograms icons of architectural design for occupation by monsters. A subterranean archive is managed by a single librarian, who collects bones of the dead beasts and places them on shelves. A reliquary is created, preserving the memories and ingenuity of the human species. 

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