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Inspired by the symbiotic relationship developed through tree communities and mycorrhizae fungi, this concept image represents the inspiration of our Interior Design project “KAART”. The KAART project focuses on developing a rehabilitation center for the people of Hazard, Kentucky. The concept of the design focuses on symbiotic spaces formed between the users of The Kentucky Appalachian Assistive and Rehabilitation Technology (KAART) Center/the people of Hazard. The KAART Center will serve those with disabilities, to maximize function and physical activity needed to improve workforce readiness, long-term health and quality of life. The symbiotic spaces concept seeks to reflect and amplify this service to the community of Hazard and beyond by helping to create and establish root systems in an interconnected community environment that engages users in a variety of ways while nurturing and enriching them through a positive, revitalizing experience, to create growth, both personally and interpersonally. The symbiotic spaces concept can be used to form the interconnected root systems necessary to build new foundations that can sustain growth, be it physical wellbeing or workforce. The way that trees communicate with others via root systems and respond to the needs of other trees by transferring nutrients closely relates to the concept of the design which focuses on symbiotic spaces formed between the users of The Kentucky Appalachian Assistive and Rehabilitation Technology (KAART) Center/the people of Hazard and the surrounding communities.
Symbiotic relationships were the focus of this inspiration, given the nature of the bond that these organisms form throughout their lifespan in such instances. Underneath the Earth’s soil, a vast and interconnected root system link tree communities together. The trees within these communities work together in a hierarchy, protecting and managing one another when help is needed. These communities start with the grand protectors, the “hub trees”. These trees are the greater and older trees that have access to more resources such as sunlight. Because of this, the trees can produce more nutrients than they need, and in return, provide to other trees in their community that are in need. This is done through the underground interconnection of fungi that co-exist. Through the fungi, a symbiotic relationship occurs. The fungi are made up of mycelium threads which grow within the root system of the trees and absorb the excess sugar. In return the mycelium provides for the tree with the nutrients it needs from the soil. This symbiotic relationship is known as mycorrhiza. This symbiotic relationship connects all the trees in the community and builds an underground communication network to exchange water and nutrients. Trees, on average, are connected to 34 other trees. How many people in the surrounding communities can the users of KAART then impact through their own growth and enrichment?
Radevski, Teonna, "Symbiotic Spaces" (2018). Oswald Research and Creativity Competition. 12.