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Bio-Informatic Digester
by Terreform ONE

Bio-Informatic Digester by Terreform ONE. Photo is by Vivian Kuan.

A public architectural project that utilises living mealworms to decompose Styrofoam packaging e-waste into safe compostable mulch for gardening.
The Bio-Informatic Digester is a living machine that utilizes mealworms (Tenebrio molitor) to eat Styrofoam packaging e-waste. Styrofoam refuse is thought to be non-biodegradable as it is extruded from synthetic aromatic hydrocarbon monomer styrene. However, mealworms have the uncanny ability to reduce and mineralize the polystyrene into a perfectly safe compostable mulch for gardening.

At the project base, the transparent tesseract cube showcases mealworms devouring community donated Styrofoam. On the top of the cube, mycelium panels reveal a graph that compares the natural erosion times of various common waste materials. The public can visually see how incredibly long it takes for most discarded synthetic waste items to degrade within an environmental context.

This project has been longlisted in the small building category of Dezeen Awards 2021.

Architect: Terreform One
Project: Bio-Informatic Digester

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