Urban Data Forest reimagines the city as a site of data storage in plants and trees. It explores the possibility of how DNA data storage technology could transform urban spaces, bringing nature and data back to the city.
Based on site specific research in the city of The Hague, Netherlands, *Urban Data Forest* provides a viable regenerative vision for environmentally friendly data storage that could be achieved by 2050. Presented as an artistic piece, the resulting installation features urban plans, plant samples, and the story of two types of *Urban Data Forest* are present: Breathing Museums and Living Archives.
The Breathing Museum is an organic archive powered by DNA data storage technology in plants. It offers a space where the public may explore digital archives and cultural works through their contact with living organisms such as trees. Living Archives are urban data forests offering citizens a way to store their digital files in the DNA of living plants and trees. Through transdisciplinary research, the project outlines a blueprint for technical implementation, while providing a glimpse of the potential positive ecological impact with regard to carbon remediation, biodiversity, and air quality. Above all, it is a vision for how a green model for data can restore our relationship with nature.
Created by: Monika Seyfried and Cyrus Clarke; Grow Your Own Cloud
Visual identity: Aleksander Znosko Studio www.znosko.pl
Photography: Aleksander Znosko Studio www.znosko.pl
Design collaborator: Connor Dolan
Project advisor: In4Art
Plant samples: TU Delft Botanical Gardens
Scientific advisor: Jeff Nivala
Actors: Christopher Cadostin, Monja Simon
Urban Data Forest project was part of the Fellowship co-commissioned by In4Art and Witteveen+Bos within the framework of Repairing The Present. Repairing The Present is co-funded by the STARTS program of the European Union.
Monika Seyfried (PL) is a co-founder of GYOC and an Interaction Designer who works across the disciplines of science, ethics, and futures. Her research focuses on how living systems and the natural world can help us to establish new perspectives on the future of technology and ecosystems. Monika’s focus lies in the role of ethics in the design process.
Cyrus Clarke (FR) is a designer, technologist and co-founder of Grow Your Own Cloud. Looking to science and the natural world for inspiration, he seeks to inspire futures and create technological breakthroughs that enhance value, promote equity, and regenerate the environment.
We are Grow Your Own Cloud (INT) – an art collective developing clean data solutions, through DNA data storage. Our mission is to transform data centers from carbon creators to carbon absorbers working with nature as a technology. We are an award-winning multi-disciplinary team developing cutting-edge research since 2018. Our work has been recognized by the United Nations and Ars Electronica, presented at the WEF Davos, and World Climate Summit 2019. In 2020 we were creative residents at Ginkgo Bioworks.