Parasitic Architecture

Architecture academia posted some ideas about parasitical architecture and I would really like to continue the dialogue and focus on some artistic parasitic projects.

A parasite is an organism that grows, feeds and sheltered by its host while contributing nothing to the host’s survival.  Therefore  parasitic architecture can be defined “as an adaptable, transient and exploitive form of architecture that forces relationships with host buildings in order to complete themselves.” (definition taken from parasitic architecture.)

Parasitic  Architecture can be thought of as  a flexible and sometimes temporary structure that feeds off the existing infrastructure and build form. A parasite has to work with existing infrastructures and use them to its own end but can also  be considered as an architectural intervention that materializes and transforms the built form. A parasitic construction redefines and reconfigures a built structure and provides a new perspective or orientation to the public and potentially offer a new space.

I have been quite interested in the notion of parasitic architecture and developed a multidisciplinary project entitled Canard Development Group (Canard) in 2007. Canard is a development company that manipulates the tropes of corporate identity to create the ‘idea’ of plausible spaces of operation which marketed A.I.R. (Architectual Inflatable Retreat)  – Canard‘s latest home unit. Although rooted in a fictional narrative,  the project relates to the issues and ideas about parasitic urban development and design. I created Canard‘s corporal identity and marketing material and presented it on a ‘official’  website.  I also collaborated with Lateral Architecture to develop the floor plans for A.I.R. A.I.R. was pitched as cutting-edge technology in residential planning—a portable parasitic unit that could fit into any community and be attached to any host building.

Sara Graham, A.I.R. from Canard Development Group

Michael Rakowitz, paraSITE


Susana HertrichBerlin Wild Life: Parastic Architecture for Raccoons




Tadashi Kawamata, from Tree Huts series

Mark Reigelman and Jenny Chapman, Manifest Destiny, 2011-2012

Stephane Malka, AME-LOT, 2011, architectural proposal

Stephane Malka, Self Defense, 2009, architectural proposal

2 responses to “Parasitic Architecture

  1. Pingback: Lebbeus Woods | citymovement·

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