pathogens and host // [infectious agent]
There is a disturbing theory about the human species that has begun to take on an alarming level of reality. It seems that the behavior of the human race is displaying uncanny parallels to the behavior of pathogenic, or disease-causing, organisms.
When viewed at the next quantum level of perspective, from which the Earth is seen as an organism and humans are seen as microorganisms, the human species looks like a menace to the planet. In fact, the human race is looking a lot like a disease — comprised of organisms excessively multiplying, mindlessly consuming, and generating waste with little regard for the health and well being of its host — planet Earth.
In the case of pathogenic organisms that kill their host, the behavior is predictable: multiply without regard for any limits to growth, consume senselessly and excrete levels of waste that grievously harm the host. When this is translated into human terms, it rings with a disquieting familiarity, especially when we equate human success with growth, consumption and material wealth.
humanure // [virulence cure]
Much of our waste consists of organic material including food residues, municipal leaves, yard materials, agricultural residues, and human and livestock manures, all of which should be returned to the soil from which they originated. These organic materials are very valuable agriculturally, a fact well known among organic gardeners and farmers. Feces and urine are examples of natural, beneficial, organic materials excreted by the bodies of animals after completing their digestive processes. They are only “waste” when we discard them.
Our long-term survival requires us to learn to live in harmony with our host planet. This also requires that we understand natural cycles and incorporate them into our day to day lives. “Human waste” is a term that has traditionally been used to refer to human excrements, particularly fecal material and urine, which are by-products of the human digestive system. This organic resource, rich in soil nutrients, should be replaced by the word ‘humanure’.
Human waste (discarded feces and urine), creates significant environmental problems, provides a route of transmission for disease, and deprives humanity of valuable soil fertility. It’s also one of the primary ingredients in sewage, and is largely responsible for much of the world’s water pollution. Humanure’ s collection is a fundamental piece of world revolution towards sustainable agriculture and the prevention of sanitation diseases.
post-script: heterotopic gardens
students: Juan Carlos Naranjo, Jason Uhm
prof. Ezio Blasetti
Arch 400.05: Research Studio | Fall 2012
Undergraduate School of Architecture