©2019 by Otis Harley | otisharley@gmail.com 

Amazon Insect Market

Challenging the Agriculture Industry in the Brazilian Rainforest

Agriculture is the leading cause of deforestation in the Amazon. The mass farming of cattle has been blanketed throughout the rainforest with no regard for the effects on environment, biodiversity and local cultures, whilst the farming of cattle is a lead contributor of greenhouse
gases. The Amazon Insect Market aims to challenge this by introducing an alternative edible insect industry into the existing ‘Central Jose Baptista’ food market in Careiro, a town in the heart of the rainforest.

Careiro is a town of approximately 24,000 inhabitants situated around 1.5 hours by car away from Manaus, the capital of the Amazonas state. The market acts as the social heart of Careiro and the surrounding communities living on the river.

The existing market’s concrete frame structure is retained and covered by a new tensile net canopy creating a much more permeable and airy space. Towards the north is the ‘social wing’ housing the existing fixed vendors on ground floor opposite the existing shops and a series of flexible use spaces above. Crickets, black ants and weaver ants are farmed within the market. The 3 insects requirements for farming, habitat and thermal comfort have been interpreted spatially through their zoning, structure, form and materiality to give life and drama to the market place.

The market roof is a living ecosystem that both humans and ants help cultivate over time. The tensile roof, made of recycled fishing nets, protects the market and creates a habitat for Weaver ants and Epiphytic plants. Weaver ants, which naturally cultivate the the Amazon’s many epiphytes for their food and nests, work alongside humans to grow the plant canopy. Parts of the roof also collect rainwater which is used within the market for watering the epiphytes and to cool the market through evaporation.