Symbiotic House at The Kampong

Through January 2024

Symbiotic House Lectures
Symbiotic House is a project catalyzed by Lee Pivnik in 2022 to research and develop adaptive architectural solutions to Miami’s environmental precarity, and to conceptualize and design a “multi-use space for multi-species survival”. The project’s aim is to reimagine the home as a potential site for climate care, an active hub for offsetting carbon emissions, rewilding landscape, supporting biodiversity, and adapting to environmental change. Symbiotic House will ultimately manifest as a living earthwork that functions as a regenerative shelter and center for interdisciplinary art and ecology research in South Dade.

The project intends to broaden the design process so that the space emerges organically through communal workshops, open research, and constant feedback. It is meant to invite the local community of South Florida into a collective act of dreaming up new practices for how to best adapt to the intersecting climate and housing crises, so that the people living at the epicenter of these issues are treated as the experts in mitigating them.

The lecture series is $10 for all guests and free for members. The start time is 6:30 PM.

Unsealing the Earth and Letting Her Breathe
Thursday, November 16, 2023 | 6:30 p.m.

With Metabolic Studio (Lauren Bon and Maurício Chades)

NTBG Members: Free, Non-Members: $10

Join Symbiotic House at the Kampong on Thursday, November 16th, as we welcome visiting artists Lauren Bon and Maurício Chades of Metabolic Studio. Metabolic Studio is an interdisciplinary art and research hub based in Los Angeles, CA. Directed by Lauren Bon, the studio operates with a mission to explore and address critical social and environmental issues through art interventions and innovative projects aimed at reparation. Lauren will present Metabolic Studio’s ongoing project Un-development 1, which is a regenerative earthwork created by unsealing tarmac, dismantling concrete, and letting the land breathe on a one-acre vacant lot adjacent to the Los Angeles River. Through the concept of un-development, the project proposes breaking away from conventional urbanization practices and dismantling structures that suffocate living systems. Utilizing rainwater capture, solar energy, salvaged logs and floodplain material, Un-development envisions a city that embraces the natural processes of decay, abundance, and interconnectedness, revitalizing the relationship between the city and its environment.

At 6:30, prior to the lecture, Maurício Chades will present a screening of his video work Green Cemetery. Maurício is an artist and filmmaker from Brazil, working currently as a visiting artist at Metabolic Studio. Green Cemetery is a garden and a film that originated when Maurício and his mother Lavina relocated to Alto Paraíso de Goiás, in the heart of the Cerrado, the most biodiverse savanna biome on the planet. Despite its ecological significance, agribusiness and monocropping are destroying the Cerrado, depleting the soil and eradicating biodiversity. In the film,  Lavina retires and fulfills her dream of purchasing her own home. Faced with weathered soil where not even grass can grow, she plants an agroforestry garden, offering each seedling and seed as a tribute to a loved one. 

Symbiotic House is a project catalyzed by Lee Pivnik to research and develop adaptive architectural solutions to Miami’s environmental precarity, and to conceptualize and design a “multi-use space for multi-species survival”. This lecture series, co-presented with the Kampong, invites speakers working with ecologically engaged design practices.

The Sustainable Square Mile
Thursday, December 14, 2023 | 6:30 p.m.
With Blacks in Green (Naomi Davis, with Nuri Madina and David Yocca)

NTBG Members: Free, Non-Members: $10

Join us for an evening conversation with Naomi Davis, Founder & CEO of Blacks in Green, an environmental justice and green community economic development organization based in West Woodlawn, Chicago. Naomi’s work with Blacks in Green is informed by her heritage as a proud granddaughter of Mississippi sharecroppers who – like 7 million others – voted with their feet and moved “UpSouth” for freedom and economic opportunity during the Great Migration. Naomi believes Black communities can thrive by recreating the walkable villages of the Great Migration era, while also embracing the transition to a clean energy economy.

Joined by Nuri Madina (Sustainable Square Mile Director) and David Yocca (Green Infrastructure Director), Blacks in Green will present their work regarding the Sustainable Square Mile, their signature program for Black community development. This unique whole-system approach for whole-system problems is designed to increase wealth and wellbeing in the context of a changing climate. 

The Sustainable Square Mile concept embodies BIG’s 8 Principles of Green Village Building, from neighbor-owned green enterprises to locally produced clean energy. Building on the “Grannynomics” values of the proud, hard-working Great Migration families who started businesses, bought homes, and kept dollars circulating in this neighborhood, BIG is growing specific economic sectors within their West Woodlawn pilot project. 

With our neighbors in West Coconut Grove and Little Haiti facing the increasing pressures of Climate Gentrification, we’re proud to invite Blacks in Green to discuss how their resilience and adaptation work in Chicago can help inform our visions of a more ecologically and economically equitable Miami. 

Earth as Architecture
Thursday, January 18, 2024 | 6:30 p.m.
With Jessica Martin

NTBG Members: Free, Non-Members: $10

Jessica Martin uses the tools of design and architecture to explore natural and unnatural material processes. Born in Santa Clara, Cuba, Martin was raised in Miami, Florida. She currently lives in New York City. Investigating and interrupting the life cycles of minerals and other matter by working directly with the earth as well as industrial suppliers, Martin is interested in the creative and functional reuse of material. She employs various techniques of art, craft, and technology, including joinery, computer programming, and material synthesis. Cinders (2021), Martin’s architectural thesis project for her M.Arch at The School of Architecture, is an ephemeral, experimental shelter located in Yavapai County, Arizona. Designed as a refuge for humans, animals and plants, Cinders is an examination of the Chaparral desert ecosystem, its geological structures, aesthetic formations, and cosmic timescales, from conception to decay. Cinders was shortlisted for a Dezeen Award and mentioned in places like Wallpaper and The Architect’s Newspaper. Besides her solo work as an artist, Martin’s practice includes collaborative endeavors including CUBE, a project of curatorial and design work revolving around electronic music. Martin’s work has been exhibited in venues such as Design Miami, JONALDDUDD, Tile Blush, MOCA North Miami, and elsewhere. 

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