Architect Juho Manka is FCINY’s artist-in-residence in January 2017. His projects promote active citizenship and participation in urban culture. Since 2010 Manka has been running urban collective Mieluisa that offers flexible platforms for open discussion between city planners, developers and people living in the cities.
Currently Manka is working on a year-long urban nature research project called Nature Cots. The aim of the project is to increase biodiversity in densely populated cities with the help of small-scale portable nature devices. In times of global challenges such as climate change and chemicalization of natural environments, Manka believes it is important to develop new approaches to enhance biodiversity in all scales of urban planning and design.
As part of the project, Manka is developing concepts for light-weight, easy-to-build structures that can add nature to urban spaces without interfering in zoning or vast strategies. One of Manka’s goals is to make people understand that even small actions can have large effects on urban biodiversity.
Manka’s first Nature Cots proposals include ‘The Butterfly Sphere’, a structure that functions as an urban base station for insects with a wide range of blossoming flowers and plants, water and moist sand for bathing and different sized cavities for habitation. ‘Movable Bilberry Pad’ consists of fresh heath forest floor transplanted in mobile containers. Rich in forest plants and edible berries to pick, it can be taken to people who cannot make it to forest themselves, such as people in retirement homes.
During his residency Manka will study the possibilities of wintery urban nature. He will explore the city’s urban nature projects such as The Low Line and Biomimicry NYC, discuss his practice with New York-based professionals of sustainable urbanism, and search for new perspectives on his own work.
http://www.fciny.org/residency/olli-hakanen http://www.fciny.org/residency/laura-hietakorpi-tomi-jaskari http://www.fciny.org/residency/edit-bajsz