Vivian Kuan is Executive Director of Terreform ONE, a non-profit architecture and urban design think tank focused on ecological design solutions for cities. Terreform ONE [Open Network Ecology] is a nonprofit architecture and urban design research group. The work they do endeavours to combat the extinction of all planetary species through pioneering acts of design. Their projects aim to illuminate the environmental possibilities of habitats, cities and landscapes across the globe.

Terreform ONE operates as an interdisciplinary lab of specialists advancing the practice of socio-ecological design. The group cultivates resilience through innovations in building, transportation, infrastructure, water, food, waste treatment, air quality, and energy.

Their collaborative process includes speculating about the ways in which emerging technologies will impact future urban generations and local biodiversity. As an organization we strive to develop inclusive spaces and systems that manifest environmental and social justice for all beings
Terreform ONE’s has a summer education program at ONE Lab Summer Studio.

Vivian Kuan was on the CODAhorizon’s Art + Sustainability panel June 2021.

My Projects

  • Babel

    Rethinks and upcycles what the people throw away. A testament to global sameness and affluenza induced conduct, the Babel Waste Capital up-cycles what the city throws away. Styrofoam packaging is collected from the neighborhood and erected as a tower in a few short hours. This sculpture represents an extension of a city reconstituted from its own refuse materials. The star form represents a single 30 second flash of Styrofoam e-waste produced in New York City from packaging materials for new refrigerators, microwave ovens, speakers, vacuum cleaners, and other electrical appliances. Our city disposes of heavy volumes of consumer e-waste daily. Styrofoam packaging was collected from local neighborhoods and transformed into a didactic installation. LOCATION: Metropolitcan Museum of Art 1000 Fifth Avenue, 82nd Street New York, NY 10028 MEDIUM: Upcycled styrofoam DIMENSIONS: 13’x13’x10’

  • Bio-Informatic Digester

    LOCATION: Camden, NJ MEDIUM: Aluminum, wood, mycelium, wood pallets, planters, local flora, styrofoam, live mealworms DIMENSIONS: Cube: 7’x7’x7’ Hight: 15’ Lenght: 30’ The Bio-Informatic Digester is a living machine that utilizes mealworms (Tenebrio molitor) to eat Styrofoam packaging e-waste. Styrofoam refuse is thought to be non-biodegradable as it is extruded from synthetic aromatic hydrocarbon monomer styrene (PS). However, mealworms have the uncanny ability to reduce and mineralize the polystyrene into a perfectly safe compostable mulch for gardening. At the project base, the transparent tesseract cube showcases mealworms devouring community donated Styrofoam. On the top of the cube, mycelium panels reveal a graph that compares the natural erosion times of various common waste materials. The public can visually see how incredibly long it takes for most discarded synthetic waste items to degrade within an environmental context. This project demonstrates a new method of regenerative biologically-driven upcycling that contributes to increased urban biodiversity. Furthermore, the project maximizes the often-unseen beneficial behavior of insects.

  • Urban Farm Pod

    A “living” cabin for individuals and urban nuclear families to grow and provide for their daily vegetable needs. Our vision for future iterations of the pod is to naturally grow structures over time, within a new form of mediated arboreal culture, to integrate the biological and mechanical elements more closely, to transform the object into one that grows and changes symbiotically. The Plug-In Ecology project sets out a direction for for healthy biological exchanges with urban inhabitants, and to contribution to the life of urban ecosystems that mediate between autonomy and community. LOCATION: Cube Museum Museumplein 2 6461 MA Kerkrade Netherlands MEDIUM: Laser cut plywood, felt, plastic pots DIMENSIONS: 10’x10’x10’