Living Tower Talk #4

10 nov 2023

Janna Bystrykh is an architect and researcher seeking to regenerate design practices in response to our biodiversity and climate crises. Taking the Mycelium Pigeon Towers as conversation starters, we will discuss the radical transitions we need and how to work on them.



Living Tower Talk #4 -

Episode #4

How do we combine ecological thinking with places and people? What is architecture today, and what can it be? And what can we learn from pigeons? For the upcoming Living Tower Talk, we will draw on Janna's work as an architect and as a curator for the International Architecture Biennial in Rotterdam (IABR) 2024.

As the head of Architecture at the Amsterdam Academy of Architecture, Janna has been redeveloping the Master’s programme into a ‘climate curriculum’, to challenge students to rethink approaches to design, materials and ecology. In her research practice, she has worked with agricultural communities in the Great Plains region in the US, resulting in a 40-minute documentary combining drone footage with on-the-ground interviews with farmers, researchers and activists.

Living Tower Talk 

The Living Tower Talk, co-curated by Arne Hendriks and Clemens Driessen, is a monthly event intended to foster a collective exploration of knowledge from mycelium-waste pigeon-towers, transcending the boundaries of human and non-human realms.
The Living Tower Talk, a collaborative learning process, encourages us to explore new ways of creating and acquiring knowledge. It takes us on a journey where the destination is not predetermined but rather emerges as we engage in conversations and discoveries. Our findings are shared within a circle, accompanied by a tasty mushroom-based dish, sourced directly from the towers at Mediamatic's Biotoop. 


Friday 10th of November
Full price (inc. meal) €11,00
Student, artist, Stadspas (inc. meal) €7,50



Arne Hendriks is guiding the pigeon tower project. He is an artist and researcher on human ecology, who explores the borders of specific cultural values that define our relationship with the planet. His projects include The Incredible Shrinking Man, that questions if it's possible to downsize the human species to better fit the earth and Fatberg, the building of an island made of fat. As a regular Mediamatic collaborator, he directed several projects to draw attention to our (sometimes twisted) relation with the planet and its resources, like Kool Abundance, The Starvation Experiment, and the building of a holy pigeon tower out of recycled newspapers.

Clemens Driessen is an assistant professor at Wageningen University. The premise of his research is that nature is deeply cultural, as a result, it affects the way we comprehend concepts such as agriculture, animals, nature, and food. To study the 'moral geographies' around these themes he draws on a variety of approaches, from Science and Technology Studies (ethnography, history and philosophy of technology), as well as Animal Geography (multispecies ethnography) and the Environmental Humanities (arts and design, literary history, environmental philosophy). In combination, these generate opportunities for experimental interventions within a 'more-than-human' geography. 

Janna Bystrykh is an architect and researcher based in Rotterdam. Janna’s experience extends to design and implementation of complex urban projects, museum transformations, experimental educational efforts, and more recently installations on the transformations of rural and natural landscapes.