INTERVIEW: We Talk to Futurist Melissa Sterry About Earth 2.0 and the Bionic City

by , 04/22/13

Futurist, biomimicry, Melissa Sterry, Earth 2.0, Earth 2 Hub, Bionic City, green design, social media, sustainable design, eco-design, technology

INHABITAT: Can you give us one or two examples of games and apps that are available?

Melissa Sterry: Earth 2 Hub is developing its first app for release this summer. While I can’t disclose much, I can tell you it’s an augmented reality app and that its content will explore leading edge scienfitic developments within the context of the city. Other than that my lips are sealed.

INHABITAT: We are also very interested in the work that you’re doing on the Bionic City… do you have a few minutes to tell us more about that?

Melissa Sterry: Sure thing. The Bionic City is a convergence of three of my passions: Ecology, Design and Resilience. Though I started my PhD exploring wider applications of Biomimicry in the Built Envrionment, within two months I’d refined my research to explore how we may identify and transfer ecosystem resilience strategies to worst-case meteorological and geological events to our cities. While on the surface the idea seemed crazy, I’d observed that many ecosystems have embedded resilience to such events, indeed many species of flora and fauna build-in natural hazards to their lifecycle.

Historically PhD’s involve focus on a very specific field, therein I’m breaking the rules. My research involves studying a range of ecosystem responses to natural hazards (to find common principles across the range), investigating the weaknesses in our current built environment paradigm (i.e. what needs to be improved), examining the future natural hazard scenarios (namely because various studies indicate the risks are upscaling and the nature of some hazards changing) and then working out what to do with all that information (i.e. creating a blueprint for a future city that embeds biomimetic reslience principles).

10 years ago I could not have taken the task on, however, in this fabulously connected, digitally enhanced 21st century world I can access vast quantities of data, which I can process faster than ever, while building a global community of interdiscipinary gurus across all the areas associated with my research… and if I have any time left over I can potentially use digital media to illustrate my hyopothesis using more interactive tools than posters and papers! Needless to say a Bionic City app is high on my agenda!

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+ Melissa Sterry

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