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Unlocking Wildness In The Traces of Edisoniana’s Tale

During the 1920s, Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, and Harvey Firestone were on a quest to find a domestic source of rubber to produce tires for the automobile industry. This search encouraged Edison to study more than 17 thousand plant species and led to the hybridization of a native species, Goldenrod, that today is considered invasive. Delving into the contradictions of how Edison, Firestone, and Ford experienced nature in a series of camping trips while promoting automobile as the main facilitator for human interaction with wildlife, Unlocking Wildness liberates the Edisoniana—the hybridized goldenrod plant named after Edison, to undo the effects of the car industry by creating a scenario that provides conditions to increase non-human habitat in the city. The project aims not just to provide a hybrid habitat that is facilitated by a system of technological devices but to rethink what it means to reclaim nature and ecosystems that were taken away for human development. In addition, it acclimatizes important pollinators in threat of extinction -such as bees, to increase biodiversity in Manhattan and beyond, reduce the heating effect and suggest other forms of cohabitation with and in (invasive) natures.