18:00 SAST

18:00  SAST

Museum of an In{dust{ry Chokehold

Phantom Network Transmission

Marize-Louise Viljoen

MArch 2022

Unit Leader: Craig McClenaghan
Unit Tutor: Ruby Mungoshi
Unit Assistant: Azraa Gabru

Phantom Cartographies

Unit 21 Prize
The Making Prize

“Joburg is the most radioactive city on the planet, thanks to its gold-mining past” (Anna  Cox, 2020). Many of Johannesburg’s residents have no choice but to live in the shadows of the city’s mine dump tailings. The research for this major design project investigates a site situated in the realm of these ether particles – where toxic dust brims with radiation and travels through the air infiltrating the lungs of this earth and its residents.  

This project presents an alternative proposition to current reclamation strategies, in which  the performance of mycelium becomes a testing ground for architectural design and  programme development. With mycelium as the primary design tool and testing ground, the design is intended to capture carbon dioxide and radioactive particles within toxic dust in  the form of a recreational cyber garden, a ‘museum’ of toxic dust. The purpose for this  proposed structure is not to deliver a ‘net zero’ radiation or carbon footprint, but to lower  and prolong the associated ether risks in the context of a particular site to mitigate – or even  avoid, an environmental (and social) catastrophe. Could mycelium be deployed as a design  tool to develop structures, programme and processes to (even partially) reclaim the lungs of  the earth?  

“There is a way this city was historically organised that anticipated the black death and  created the conditions for precarity. Thinking about geological formation, the flow of air and how this air migrates particles of toxic dust to certain parts of the city. Even the air that we  breathe is not the same.” (Mpho Matsipa. Black Magic Series. 2021,8:12)

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