Notes for the Next Pandemic

Notes for the Next Pandemic is an installation and living memorial that consists of several large translucent walls made of a fungus-based, water soluble bioplastic. The walls include numerous pill-shaped cavities, resembling large medicine capsules, each containing a message left for future generations to collect and read during a pandemic.

To open a capsule and access a message, one locally dissolves the bioplastic surface with either water or saliva. Once a capsule has been opened and emptied, they can insert a new message and seal it up with a new piece of licked bioplastic, leaving behind their DNA as a physical reminder of our collective experience in the midst of a global pandemic.

We have explored various bioplastics that can be used to construct the large surface and time capsules, as demonstrated in the video, above. The images, below, illustrate a range of possible configurations that respond to the specific conditions of various installation sites.

The bioplastic for this project was presented at the 17th Venice Architecture Biennale in 2021, along with an assortment of other functional biomaterials that we had created. These various biomaterial explorations were supported by: the Architectural League of New York, the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, the New York State Council on the Arts, the MacDowell, and the Rhode Island School of Design.