The Phosphate Standard

The Phosphate Standard is a work by Studio NAND. It is part of the exhibition Blueprints for the Unknown (2014).

The Phosphate Standard

The phosphate rock island Nauru which boasted the highest per-capita income enjoyed by any sovereign state in the world during the late 1960s and early 1970s until the phosphate reserves were exhausted. – Photo Credit: Didier Ruef

One proposed solution when facing social-economic problems is to make existing technologies and systems adaptable by introducing biological principles. From self-replicating products to complete infrastructures, organic mass will become an integral component in upcoming decades.

Following this thought of a biological driven industry, the standard of our current economic value exchange system will shift from gold to phosphate.

As one of the key elements in biological life, phosphate is required in a wide range of different aspects, such as the construction of DNA and RNA molecules and the activation of the cell’s energy cycle. Once everything will be organic, the depletion of this vital resource will accelerate and in this process become a currency for economic transactions.

Centred around new achievements in synthetic biology the goal of this project is to create and communicate a scenario of an economy that is based on phosphate.

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