Terreform ONE Bio-Informatic Digester at Eyes of the City, Shenzhen Biennale

The Bio-Informatic Digester is a machine in the garden that utilizes mealworms to eat styrofoam packaging from e-waste. At the base, the tesseract shaped white cube showcases mealworms devouring community donated styrofoam refuse. It erodes over time to reveal a pre-made graph of future zero-waste projections. Tapping into a new mandate of recycling, this project demonstrates a method of biologically-driven upcycling that can contribute to urban biodiversity. Furthermore, the project visualizes the often-unseen beneficial live insect behavior in cities. Manifesting ecological routines into a visible spectacle is a utilitarian mechanism for building awareness and communicating intentions. Instead of burying or hiding urban metabolic infrastructure, reversing its presence is desirable - the waste becomes compost. Foregrounding nature as an aestheticized and functional event in its myriad of forms is an excellent design objective. Giving citizens the capacity to see waste, energy or water systems in flux highlights their value and immediacy. - Terreform ONE, 2020, “Eyes of the City” Shenzhen Biennale 2019. 


Chief Curator:
Carlo Ratti
Academic Curator:
Politecnico di Torino – Michele Bonino
South China University of Technology (SCUT) – Sun Yimin
(South China-Torino Lab)
Executive Curators:
Daniele Belleri (CRA-Carlo Ratti Associati)
Edoardo Bruno (Politecnico di Torino)
Xu Haohao (SCUT)
Exhibition Venue Design:
Andrea Cassi
with James Schrader, Alberto Benetti, Niccolò Centrone, Pietro Franceschini, Serena Giardina, Rui Guan, Stephanie Lee, Federico Riches, Ina Sefgjini, Alessandro Servalli, Chenyu Xu
Freddy Curiél (Lapis Bureau)
Venue Project Manager
Liu Si
Special thanks to:
The Embassy of Italy in Beijing
The Consulate General of Italy in Guangzhou
The Department of Architecture and Design (DAD) at Politecnico di Torino
INTE – International Affairs Area and China Center, Politecnico di Torino
Foundational Contributors:

Alessandro Armando, Ole Bouman, Yung Ho Chang, Thomas Chung, Giovanni Durbiano, Maurizio Vittorio Ferraris, Jeanne Gang, Dong Gong, Vicente Guallart, Matthias Hank Haeusler, Sarah Mineko Ichioka, Liu Jian, Mitchell Joachim, Kees Kaan, Annette Kim, Brian Zhang Li, Geoff Manaugh, Manfredo Manfredini, Jürgen Mayer H., Hans-Ulrich Obrist, Dietmar Offenhuber, Ingrid Paoletti, François Penz, Antoine Picon, Luigi Prestinenza Puglisi, Daan Roosegaarde, Deyan Sudjic, Martijn de Waal, Albena Yaneva, Long Ying, J. Meejin Yoon, Liam Young, Philip F. Yuan


The Ove Arup Foundation Grant Winners: Terreform ONE

Terreform ONE is thankful to all of the magnificent people at The Ove Arup Foundation for their generous support of our research endeavors.