Using impregnated cactus to revive and enhance communities in an environmental disaster.
eDDapt is a newly established scientific design program that aims to propagate creative forms of adaptation for the residents of California and beyond in the face of climate change. California has been directly affected by global warming in the past years with the result of droughts plaguing and deteriorating the environment with predictions showing a rise of over 3 degrees Fahren- heit by the year 2100. The drastic change could result in many parts of the California landscape beginning to resemble that of Death Valley and other Mesoamerican deserts. The arid environment will destroy many forms of agriculture and yet one plant in particular will thrive, the cactus.
For hundreds of years the Timbisha Shoshone have resided in Death Valley in harmony with its extreme temperament. Unfortunately due to the history of the California Miners, many of their natural resources were wiped out and resulted in a gradual decrease in population. The California government has been encouraging science universities to collaborate with Native tribes in order to share knowledge and push the boundaries of the future. Cal Poly has worked with the Timbisha to develop a way of impregnating cacti with soil genes allowing them to grow into plants from which the bioplastic PHB can be extracted through the help of solvents. This scientific process and result will be the foundation of eDDapt which will bring students into an environment in which they can learn the details of this development and use the plastic to design and create their own products.
LOCATION: MA Material Futures, Central Saint Martins
University of the Arts London