In the popular game Candyland, Hasbro presents children with a wonderful world constructed entirely of Gumdrop Mountains, Lollipop Forests, and Molasses Swamps. This project theorizes a different type of material that may only be appealing to Vampires: a building constructed entirely from blood bricks. The bricks use bovine blood as a substitute for water in conventional brick-making. Jack S Munro, a student from the UK, developed this material as a thesis study focused on recycling the wasted blood of halal slaughtering in the Middle East. He looked at what materials would be accessible and sustainable in the deserts of Egypt where there are few trees and little water.
In this project, Munro had to compensate for using cow blood in the place of water in his brick-like material. Blood is a biological material that begins to degrade and coagulate when it is outside the animal. To compensate for this he added a preservative and a de-coagulant for an animal blood based adhesive. From a single cow and an imperfect process of collection, Munro was able to collect 10 liters of blood. If the collection of blood was more precise, he would have collected 30 liters of blood from each cow that was slaughtered. If you think of how many hamburgers we eat in America, there is enough waist in the process to have a seemingly endless supply of a new building material.
But the design of the building construction goes beyond conventional bricks. Munro describes a process of pouring the blood based adhesive onto the sands in the desert and letting it cure. Once it dries it can be carved to form shelter. In the desert the constant blowing sand would begin to smooth any rough edges around openings. The sculptural forms that are left look more like the structure of micro-organisms in blood than actual building elements.
The use of blood in this project is inventive, but quite nauseating. There are social conventions between ‘clean’ and ‘unclean’ activities and animals in some cultures that may hinder the use of a material like this. But the use of an adhesive poured on sand in to desert seems like a mold-able form of concrete. Making stone from sand allows a firmer and more stable material. Having it be mold-able and carve-able makes it both innovative, plausible, and it will keep the vampires from swarming.