Bio Sculpture

Hiroya Tanaka Lab + METACITY

Bio Sculpture, 2021

Bio Sculpture is an art project by Keio University SFC Tanaka Hiroya Laboratory and METACITY, themed around the exploration of "Technology for Multi-species" in the era of fire known as "Pyrocene.”
The aim of this project is to reshape the relationship between humans and nature by opening up the technologies and social systems developed by humans to the natural world, in order to restore and nurture ecosystems. The project is strongly influenced by the 2019 Australian wildfires, which are said to have claimed over a billion lives.
This artwork is composed of an "environmental metamaterial" created by a unique 3D printer capable of expanding up to 30m x 30m, which adds internal fold structures based on the growth algorithm of coral reefs to enhance its functionality. The material consists of a combination of four natural materials: red soil, black soil, red clay, and rice husks. The fold structure maximizes surface area, increases water retention, and creates a complex micro-environment of shade and sunlight on the surface. Nine species of moss coexist on this surface, arranged to autonomously regulate temperature, humidity, CO2, and air pollution. Additionally, a portion of the soil components (forest fragments) is transplanted inside, and the potential of the new environment is visualized while monitoring the changes in microbial communities, various ecological parameters, and soil components over the long term using sensing technology.
The artwork has been exhibited outdoors at art festivals sponsored by Kitakyushu City and Chiba City, and only a part of Bio Sculpture was displayed indoors at the Japan Media Arts Festival Award Exhibition. Currently, one piece is still installed in Chiba City (Makuhari New City) and Kitakyushu City, where the art festivals were held.
Unlike sculptures made from materials such as copper or stone, sculptures using the seedbeds of ecosystems encourage people to observe nature from a macroscopic perspective within cities where the importance of nature is often overlooked. The true completion of this project will come when the potential ecosystems manifest over time, or when the "Technology for Multi-species" philosophy of gently harmonizing with the natural environment while drawing out its power becomes more widespread.
Bio Sculptureは、「パイロセン(Pyrocene=火新世)」と呼ばれる火の時代における「Technology for Multi-species」の探求をテーマとする慶応義塾大学SFC田中浩也研究室とMETACITYによるアートプロジェクト。
本作は、これまでに北九州市と千葉市主催の芸術祭で野外展示し、文化庁メディア芸術祭の受賞展でのみBio Sculptureの一部を室内で展示した。芸術祭が開催された千葉市(幕張新都心)と北九州市に、現在も1体づつ設置してある。
銅や石などの素材による彫刻とは異なり、生態系の苗床を用いた彫刻は、自然の重要性を見失いがちな都市の中に、人々に巨視的な視点で自然を見守ることを促す。時を経て潜在的な生態系が顕在化したとき、あるいは自然環境の力を引き出しながらゆっくりと優しく調和する「Technology for Multi-species」の理念が一般化した時に、このプロジェクトの真の完成となる。
Internal structure of Bio Sculpture
Internal structure of Bio Sculpture
Simulation of moss distribution according to the amount of sunlight
Simulation of moss distribution according to the amount of sunlight


Hiroya Tanaka Lab + METACITY, Bio Sculpture, 2021
soil injection type 3D printer capable of 30m extension “NIWA”, 3D-printed soil (mixed with red clay, black clay, akadama, and rice husks), aluminum boards, sensors
dimentions variable


Social Impact Award (Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Award) at the Art Division of the 25th Japan Media Arts Festival (Japan, 2022)
Finalist and Public Award of the WIRED Creative Hack Award 2021 (Japan, 2021)


Producer / Director: Ryuta Aoki
Concept Designer: Ryuta Aoki
Research Director: Hiroya Tanaka
Design Research: Hiroya Tanaka Lab. (Yasuo Nagura, Shin Aoyama, Moriyasu Chinen, Nanaka Matsuki, Mayuki Omura, Megu Kawai)
Production: Hiroya Tanaka Lab., METACITY

Past Exhibitions

Apr. 29 – May 09, 2021: Kitakyushu Art Festival "Art for SDGs"
Jul. 24 – Aug. 08, 2021: The Exhibition of Jack into the Noösphere

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