This is a mobile heart growing and harvesting facility.
The facility itself is a ship – roughly the size of a typical cargo ship. It travels to major ports around the world, growing bio-engineered hearts along the way, and delivering them once they have matured.
Each vessel is divided into 8 farms. Each farm functions independently, so that no other farms would be affected by a quarantine breach.
Within each farm, the two main tasks are growing the hearts, and packaging the hearts.
The method for growing bio-engineered hearts is surprisingly straightforward. Scientists begin with a heart scaffolding –basically a very detailed 3d print of a human heart. They then layer on stem cells – which is a pink fluid applied to the scaffolding. The cells bind together, just like blood congeals, on top of the scaffolding. Over the course of about 40 days, the 3d printed scaffolding decomposes, leaving the cells in the shape of a heart – and because the cells are already programmed to function as a heart, they actually work.
This farm takes the process to an industrial scale. Rather than having someone layer the stem cells on manually, the farm relies on a gravity based feeding system.
From the ground level, heart scaffoldings chains are lowered into each silo. The chain is made of glass prisms with connections on each end. This allows stem cell fluid to be dripped on the scaffolding, collected at the bottom of the silo, and re-circulated from the top.
The silo itself is a glass room, within a tempered environment because the hearts must be kept at 98.6 degrees. The space is literally a large oven.
Within the silo, perforated floors allow workers to examine the growth of the heart, and pick hearts from the vine when they have reached maturity.
Once the heart has been chosen, a worker brings it from the silo to the packaging center. The hearts are packaged in a grid of black and yellow containers.
This pattern – the black and yellow grid – is also the international symbol for quarantine – it was traditionally a flag that was flown by ships undergoing quarantine in harbor.
Here, the texture is used 3-dimensionally as the packaging system. The glass prisms are plugged into the package, which then pumps blood through the heart to keep it alive until delivery.
When the vessel reaches port, the panels are removed from the side of the vessel – meaning the hearts never leave their quarantined zone. Depending on the destination, the units can remain connected, or be broken down into single units.
In addition to the silo and packaging areas, each farm also has a dedicated mechanical space, which is located in the barn structure. Again, this is to minimize the chance of cross contamination.
Each one of these farms can grow and deliver 600 hearts, which means each vessel can deliver 4,800 hearts.
It is estimated that over 1 million people in the world would benefit from a heart transplant every year. It would take a lot more than one of these vessels to meet demand.
To satisfy demand, Governors Island is turned into the headquarters for heart manufacturing. Half of the island is excavated, making a dry dock to house the mobile farms. Using the excavated soil, a berm is created on the other half of the island. Within this berm, large-scale silos – similar to the ones on the ship – are created to satisfy domestic demand for bio-engineered hearts because it is not efficient to use the mobile vessel for local demand.
When the vessels are docked, they create a continuous landscape of farms, with a greenscape connecting the silos. It makes a new type of landscape that would be open to the public, where visitors can come and potentially see their new heart growing in the silo.