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Bioprotopia: Designing the Built Environment with Living Organisms

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Ruth Morrow, Professor Ben BridgensORCiD, Louise Mackenzie


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What might be called to mind by the term bioprotopia? The prefix ‘bio-’ comes from the Greek bios, or life, denoting bio- logical processes and living organisms; ‘proto-’ indicates the earliest or original form suggesting new developments and prototypes↗, whilst also hinting at something ancient. The suffix ‘-topia’ stems from topos, or place. In contemporary us- age, it becomes the lived physical place, as opposed to the imagined space of a utopia, or paradise. Literally, bioprotopia translates as ‘life, the earliest form of place’. This is the prov- ocation suggested throughout this book: that place is not primarily associated with a built environment, but instead has always existed as the living environment. Bioprotopia sug- gests a new approach to understanding, making and defining place; that is, as something formed through our coexistence with living organisms and biological processes. Bioprotopia offers a vision of buildings that can grow, self-heal and create virtuous cycles where the waste from one process feeds another: a vision where the spaces that we inhabit are attuned to both human occupants and non- human↗ microbial ecologies.

Publication metadata

Editor(s): Morrow R, Bridgens B, Mackenzie L

Publication type: Edited Book

Publication status: Published

Series Title:

Year: 2023

Number of Pages: 188

Print publication date: 06/06/2023

Online publication date: 06/06/2023

Acceptance date: 01/08/2021

Publisher: Birkhäuser

Place Published: Basel, Switzerland


DOI: 10.1515/9783035625806


Library holdings: Search Newcastle University Library for this item

ISBN: 9783035625790