Lena Ma

Diablo Labrum: Rio de Janeiro's Dragonfly

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The subject presented is an excerpt from findings a time-traveling scientist has documented in Rio de Janeiro from the year 2200 to 4200.

After the apex of humanity in the year 2200, its inevitable downfall was met by an error in hyper GMO processes, leading to starvation and socio-political uproars. In the ruins of the built form, the dragonfly evolved to camouflage within its new GMO environment. The Diablo Labrum is popular for its ability to camouflage within the famous modified flower of the apex of humanity in the year 2200: the Orchidaceae Passiflora. This invasive species is scattered throughout Rio due to its genetic ability to withstand extreme conditions and is central to the life stages of the dragonfly, from metamorphosis to mating. Most notably, hunting takes place within this flower, as the dragonfly's wings position themselves to mimic its petals. Luring pollinating insects, the dragonfly snaps them for consumption with its labium, which is a trapping extension from the dragonfly's face that has evolved from its nymph stage. Therefore, the dragonfly receives its title as Diablo Labrum, meaning killer lip in Latin.

The nymph, the young dragonfly, mimics sea glass leftover from farm pods in the Anthropocene, being a translucent green to hide from predators within the water and on the shore. When resting, the adult dragonfly may also fold its body to fit within concrete cracks, and camouflage on the concrete's surface due to the grey pigmentation on the top of its wings. In every stage of the Diablo Labrum's life, it capitalizes on its environment to find shelter, protection, and to hunt for its survival in the built context after humanity.

Toronto Metropolitan Department of  Architectural Science Toronto, CA.