Manifesto for 
A Moist Confluent
Non-Essentialist Woombyn's Architecture

“Everything in the world began with a yes.
One molecule said yes to another molecule and life was born.”
                                       ~ Clarice Lispector, The Hour of the Star

“The scarcity of blessings is an illusion.”
                                        - Maybe A Yoga Instructor 

As we surrender fear to love, inhibition to stewardship, plastic FRP panels to landfill, and bleach to rapid Whole Genome Sequencing, new prospects emerge for a non-industrial regulation of food processing facility design. With growing attunement to the dynamics of microbial ecology, “this awareness of life working within us is something fundamentally different from observing, fixing and comprehending from the outside,”. Hara de kangaeru (‘to think with the belly’) is the opposite of atama de kangaeru (‘to think with the head’), he says, tapping his forehead with his finger: Koko de kangaeru no wa ikemasen (‘One must not think just with this’) and often adds, Hara de kangaenasai —'Please think with your belly.' By this he means, ‘not so rationally, intellectually, but deeper please, as a whole person from the essence of your being.’

We less occupy our buildings than join with them, less eat food than join with it. And “bio is the new digital”, so be cool. Grounded buildings invite through an architecture of the tactile over the visual. Architecture you touch and sense and become enfolded and immersed in. We are of this world this flesh this teeming sea of microbes and there is no where else to go. When you attempt to stand apart from or gaze upon, what you must dissociate cuts you off from your own self. It is an indescribable aching pain. To suppress the pain you may grasp for all manner of HVAC add-ons or sheathing inserts, for the distraction of some new spectacle of originality or the drama of insult to others. Instead, a Daoist saying tells us: 'When you are sick, do not seek a cure. Find your centre and you will be healed.' When the building was all surface and no center, we could only ever have sick buildings. Our new, centered buildings have mass, and are attuned to it.


You enter the ovarian palace from below, ascending into the heavy mass, hovering over the water on thick piers. Algae creeps up along the faces of the piers and sea water climbs through their interior passageways. Salt crystals bloom from the walls of the front hall, baked warm by the fire lit on the floor in the center of the room. Shards are harvested and brought into the next room where a biofilm sheen coats the walls, glinting as it catches the light. A barrel just finished brewing is poured out on the ground, flowing over the wooden floorboards, pickling again the planks to a deep glow and percolating out through the concrete slab below. The salt shards go in the emptied barrel, ready to start the next batch. In the bathing room beyond, the vegetables bob in the warm water read for scrubbing. You disrobe, rinse, and slip in to pick up the scrubby brush. The rising steam kisses the meats dangling over head with humidity. Perimeter shelves stock dough rising too. The floor mosses catch the drips in their velvety folds. Full with heat, you glide towards the next room, cold feet on a hard iced floor. You are handed a slice of chilled orange as you cross the threshold. Perimeter shelves stock fresh cheeses settling into their new skins. Hands reach out to flip a few cheeses and pull up another bucket of ocean to dump into the plunge pool. You take in the flesh of the orange and the twist the peel into the pool, where your feet dangle between floating citrus and the days catch of anchovies. Chilled to the bone and ready for your next cycle of heat, warm up by the candlelit prayer service dance party in the fruit stomping room for the wines and vinegars, or pull rocks from below the entry room fire to bake in the birch sauna room where some toasts crisp for lunch, or in the anteroom of the roaring clay oven where a few more loaves just went in. Finished, back in the front room, rest by the fire, sip a cup of tea and nibble on the fruits of your labor. Enjoy the music of small flute and the water dripping. Close your eyes.

Everywhere across the built environment, and everywhere across the food system, the concerns of ecology, beauty, and justice mat together.

        "The taoist butchers cut draws no blood".

                  The microbial spa cathedral has no doors.