Mothering Nature – the shape of things to come is the title of an article by MIT’s Neri Oxman in The World in 2016.

It begins:

Imagine that you could actually grow the future. By bringing together design and technology, we can, in effect, edit biology—and create physical objects that point to the shape of things to come. That, in a sense, is what my team do in our lab.

Today we can design micro-organisms to mimic “factories” capable of transforming almost any biomass into bio-products that may be useful for, say, wearable garments, transport and even construction. Engineered gut E.coli can generate useful chemicals and antibiotics; blue-green algae can convert captured carbon into biofuels or plastics. This biological alchemy is inspiring a movement towards the design of living matter not for, but as, the built environment. I call this Material Ecology.  …

For more information on Neri Oxman’s work, see her TED talk: “Design at the intersection of technology and biology

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