Exhibition: Microbes Make Mountains

Microbes Make Mountains
On View June 2 – September 15, 2023
MIT Keller Gallery, 77 Mass Ave, 7-408, Cambridge, MA

Cambridge, MA, June 2, 2023Microbes Make Mountains, an exhibition by emerging architect and multidisciplinary designer Laura Maria Gonzalez, will be on view at MIT’s Keller Gallery through September 15, 2023. This close-up display of the complex relationships between microbes and minerals reveals the exciting interactions and captivating artistry hidden in the microbial world.

The exhibition features biocemented sculptures made from a unique combination of minerals, highlighting the relationship between the microbes and their environment. The display takes us closer with a short video and images documenting the fleeting but monumental life of these microbes as they flourish into communities, and build dazzling crystal structures together.

About the Project
Microbes Make Mountains present a bold, imaginative journey into the wondrous world of microbial life and its fascinating connections with the mineral realm. These microbes are able to naturally harden without the need for cement or binder, presenting a unique opportunity to collaborate with these organisms across scales. The subtle yet powerful interactions between these tiny architects and the geological materials they inhabit result in a remarkable array of colors, textures, and structures. This project seeks to stimulate curiosity about the incredible potential of the microbial world and speculate on our shared future.

About Laura Maria Gonzalez
Laura Maria Gonzalez is an emerging architect and designer whose work uses computational and microbial processes to create fluid sculptures and dynamic geometries. Her innovative design solutions forge connections between digital technologies, physical materials, and living organisms, moving towards a more interconnected ecological awareness. Laura’s focus is on the intricate relationships between humans, microbes, and the environment we share. Her practice reflects a deep appreciation for the interconnectedness of living systems and their potential integration in architectural design.

Laura is currently a Teaching Fellow at the MIT School of Architecture and Planning, and a Researcher at the MIT Media Lab Community Biotechnology Initiative. She holds a Master of Science in Architectural Studies from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and a Bachelor of Architecture from Carnegie Mellon University. Her personal journey has driven her to explore the possibilities of architecture and design in strengthening our relationship with our bodies and the complex ecosystems we inhabit.

About the MIT Department of Architecture
The MIT Department of Architecture opened its doors in 1868 as the first Architecture department in the United States. MIT Architecture is currently home to around 250 graduate and undergraduate students. Numbered among the Department’s over 5,000 alumni are Sophia Hayden ‘1890, Robert R. Taylor ‘1892, I.M. Peil ‘40, and Charles Correa ‘55.

About the Keller Gallery at MIT
The Keller Gallery was established in the fall of 2011 with a generous donation of materials and labor in kind from Shawn Keller, principal at C.W. Keller & Associates. The 200 square foot gallery presents faculty, student, and experimental work, including work from alumni and friends.

Microbes Make Mountains was supported by a grant from the Council for the Arts at MIT (CAMIT) with funding from the MIT Department of Architecture. Project collaborators: Justin Buck, Donald Galler, Tejumola Bayowa, Christopher Dewart, and Amir B Jahanbin. Keller Gallery Exhibition Team: Amanda Moore, Jim Harrington, and Joél Carela.

Visitor Information
The Keller Gallery at MIT
77 Massachusetts Avenue, Building 7, Room 408, Cambridge, MA 02139
Free and open to the public
Monday through Saturday, 9AM to 6PM

Media Contacts
Amanda Moore
Communications Manager, MIT Department of Architecture
amm@mit.edu/ 617-253-0692

Leah Talatinian
Senior Officer for Marketing and Communications, Arts at MIT
leaht@mit.edu / 617-253-5351