Symbiotic House
at The Kampong

Invited speakers are collectively engaged in creating and understanding a different type of architecture:

An architecture for other species,
for ecological ongoingness,
for equitable green business development,
for organicism,
for material futures.

This lecture series will introduce their unique practices to a Miami audience. We’re thrilled to co-present this programming with The Kampong, which brings together tropical modernism, horticulture, and Miami history, while providing an intimate space for thoughtful conversations.

6 separate events will be organized throughout 2023, with each speaker giving an hour presentation, with 20 minute discussion.

Dates & Speakers

  • March 23rd: Joyce Hwang
  • April 27th: Daniel Ayat
  • May 25th: Mamoun Nukumanu

  • November 16: Metabolic Studio
  • December 14: Naomi Davis
  • January 18: TBA

Located on Biscayne Bay in Coconut Grove, Florida, The Kampong contains a fascinating array of tropical fruit cultivars and flowering trees. Named for the Malay or Javanese word for a village or cluster of houses, The Kampong is the former estate of Dr. David Fairchild, the famed botanical explorer who traveled throughout Southeast Asia and other tropical regions collecting exotic plants he introduced to the U.S. Today it is operated by the non-profit National Tropical Botanical Garden (NTBG). The Kampong serves as the mainland campus for NTBG’s educational courses, as a living classroom used by universities and colleges for botany and horticulture courses, and is a popular spot for plant enthusiasts of all ages.  

Spring Speakers: 

March 23rd: Joyce Hwang
(Get Tickets Here!)

Design for the Collective

Joyce Hwang 

How can architects design the built environment to incorporate and nurture nonhuman habitat conditions? How might we consider flora and fauna, not only as part of our ecosystem, but also part of our communities? How do we design for the ‘collective,’ beyond human stakeholders? Reflecting on these questions, Joyce Hwang’s talk will focus on the work of her creative practice, Ants of the Prairie, which has been exploring questions of ecological thinking, species conservation advocacy, and climate justice for nearly two decades. The discussion will address strategies for sustainable design to expand the consideration of animals, not only in terms of their important roles as “ecosystem services,” but also the potential toward agendas of spatial experience, care, ethics, and identity.

 April 27th: Daniel Ayat
(Get Tickets Here!)

The Symbiopolitics of Everyday Life: The Body-Politic as Exquisite Corpse


Daniel Ayat will trace the long history of how and why the body and the city have been co-constructed. This reassessment of the relevance and potentials of this notion in the 21st century will insist upon the political significance of the organization of the city and reframe how the paradigms of health and wealth are defined. By problematizing some of the underpinning tenets of ecological and economical thought, this discussion will aim to explore the ethics of how we participate (or not) in the representations, perceptions, and expectations of how we practice everyday life and of how we might collectively begin to situate its risks as a historical problem.

 May 25th: Mamoun Nukumanu
(Get Tickets Here!)


Mamoun Nukumanu explores symbiotic co-creation with earth beings. He is focused on becoming-with trees through the creation of site specific sculptures utilizing local materials. We dream reality into being, and Mamoun’s dream is a reality composed of multilayered living infrastructures that unify human and environmental health in the creation of symbiotic harmonies. The intensification of anthropogenic influences on the biosphere calls for the creation of new mythologies grounded in symbiopoiesis, the interwoven co-formulation of self and world through mutual recognition and entanglement. Mamoun’s work explores biomaterials, ranging from fungal mycelium, bacterial cellulose, and microalgae, to living trees. Through the formation of rituals that recognize the life force of the organisms with which he collaborates, an art piece emerges as a conversation between beings, a symbiotic dalliance, through which both self and other are remolded. He is currently beginning on a journey to form a dialogue with trees through the conception of evolutionary architecture that grows alongside its human inhabitant.