Project

Synthetic Apiary

Groups

The Synthetic Apiary proposes a new kind of environment, bridging urban and organismic scales by exploring one of the most important organisms for both the human species and our planet: bees. We explore the cohabitation of humans and other species through the creation of a controlled atmosphere and associated behavioral paradigms. The project facilitates Mediated Matter's ongoing research into biologically augmented digital fabrication with eusocial insect communities in architectural, and possibly urban, scales. Many animal communities in nature present collective behaviors known as "swarming," prioritizing group survival over individuals, and constantly working to achieve a common goal. Often, swarms of organisms are skilled builders; for example, ants can create extremely complex networks by tunneling, and wasps can generate intricate paper nests with materials sourced from local areas.

The Synthetic Apiary team wishes to convey gratitude to Mori Building Company for their generous sponsorship of this project. We would also like to acknowledge the Mori Art Museum and Loftworks for their support. Collaborators include… View full description

The Synthetic Apiary proposes a new kind of environment, bridging urban and organismic scales by exploring one of the most important organisms for both the human species and our planet: bees. We explore the cohabitation of humans and other species through the creation of a controlled atmosphere and associated behavioral paradigms. The project facilitates Mediated Matter's ongoing research into biologically augmented digital fabrication with eusocial insect communities in architectural, and possibly urban, scales. Many animal communities in nature present collective behaviors known as "swarming," prioritizing group survival over individuals, and constantly working to achieve a common goal. Often, swarms of organisms are skilled builders; for example, ants can create extremely complex networks by tunneling, and wasps can generate intricate paper nests with materials sourced from local areas.

The Synthetic Apiary team wishes to convey gratitude to Mori Building Company for their generous sponsorship of this project. We would also like to acknowledge the Mori Art Museum and Loftworks for their support. Collaborators include:  The Best Bees Company: Dr. Noah Wilson-Rich, Philip Norwood, Jessica O’Keefe, Rachel Diaz-Granados; Dr. James Weaver (Wyss Institute); Dr. Anne Madden (North Carolina State University); Space Managers Andy and Susan Magdanz; and Daniel Maher. Videographers: James Day and the Mediated Matter group. Media Lab Facilities: Jessica Tsymbal and Kevin Davis. MIT EHS: Lorena Altamirano.

All Mediated Matter images are subject to copyright. Please contact the group for more information or about reuse: mm-images@media.mit.edu.