Architectural practice Superficium Studio is blurring the boundaries between living space and laboratory with its Biohacker’s Residence, a 3D-printed, ‘reprogrammable’ structure in the Utah desert. Olivia Palamountain reports
Superficium Studio’s Biohacker’s Residence is a vision of the future, a concept that provides a communal retreat for biohacker enthusiasts in the Utah desert.
While biohacking traditionally relates to making small, incremental diet or lifestyle changes to encourage improvements health and wellbeing, the Biohacker’s Residence, has been designed with more extreme biohacking or “DIY biology” in mind.
Typically people with education and experience in scientific fields, extreme biohackers conduct structured experiments on themselves outside of a controlled experimental environment, such labs or medical offices. Here they explore ways in which to modifiy the human body in order to enhance it – both legally and otherwise. Superficium’s take on a biohacking lab is envisioned as a safe haven for these communities, a place “for remote practice and self-administration, while they look to challenge what it means to be human,” shares the London-based studio.
It says: “Since the availability of home-use bio-technology kits, do-it-yourself biohacker communities have surged along with an increasing synthesis between home and laboratory. The ability to control and reprogramme your body is an uncharted territory of personalisation and modification.”
This bonkers structure is organic in design, mirroring the arid desert landscape in a patchwork of 3D-printed, bio-integrated materials, generating a protective architectural skin. This “malleable architecture” can be reprogrammed as and when required according to the needs of the community.According to Stir World, public areas within the house are designed to support activities such as organic 3D printing and workstations with CRISPR technology, which enables cellular reprogramming through genetic engineering. Other pursuits include bathing in red infrared light, taking supplements daily or in extreme cases, altering DNA to slow down ageing.While Superficium’s vision of biohacking spills into sci-fi, elements of this trend have been buzzing for some time. Back in 2016, Globetrender founder Jenny Southan met Patrick Mesterton, CEO of Epicentre, a new coworking space and “house of innovation” where 60 or so members have chosen to biohack their own bodies and implant microchips.
More recently, Globetrender has reported on everything from Upgrade Labs, a human biohacking clinic at Los Angeles’ Beverly Hilton hotel, that claims to makes peak performance accessible to everyone, to the IV drip bar at Bangkok’s Anantara Siam hotel that provides therapies designed to “return vigour, energy and balance to modern lives”, and the futuristic medical spa at the Longevity Health and Wellness hotel in Portugal, where guests can be screened for cancer, check into a sleep clinic and even undergo diabetes reversal and genetic testing.