Archinect - News 2017-07-29T08:01:52-04:00 Scientists are developing a 'digestive' building material that cleans wastewater and produces electricity Amelia Taylor-Hochberg 2016-08-08T13:28:00-04:00 >2016-08-11T01:14:05-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="433" border="0" title="" alt="" /><p>&ldquo;The best way to describe what we&rsquo;re trying to create is a &lsquo;biomechanical cow&rsquo;s stomach&rsquo;,&rdquo; said Rachel Armstrong, coordinator of the Living Architecture (LIAR) research project. LIAR's aim is to develop a building block material that uses living microorganisms to clean wastewater, glean useful resources from sunlight, and even generate electricity.</p><p>To do this, the researchers are programming synthetic microorganisms, and inserting them into a microbial fuel cell (MFC), which is then placed inside ceramic blocks. The MFCs are effectively alive, and produce positive and negative charges, which allows them to be programmed in such a way to emulate the different metabolic stages of a cow's stomach.</p><p>In combination, the blocks could be used to form 'bioreactor walls', which could then help offset a structure's carbon footprint by keeping waste processing and power generation in-house:&nbsp;"like a digestive system for your home or office," according to Armstrong. In one successful test case, res...</p> Dreaming of an architecture that could produce buildings with organs and physiologies Nam Henderson 2013-09-26T13:08:00-04:00 >2013-09-30T18:58:10-04:00 <img src="" width="500" height="354" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Very immediately I&rsquo;m working on the Persephone Project which is concerned with the design and implementation of a giant natural computer that will form the &lsquo;living&rsquo; interior to a world-ship. It is going to be officially launched at the Starship Congress, in Dallas, from august the 15 of this year. I will also talk about Persephone further at Future Fest in the UK which runs over the weekend 28th to the 29th September.</p></em><br /><br /><p> Earlier this summer Alessia Andreotti spoke with&nbsp;Dr. Rachel Armstrong&nbsp;about living buildings, Venice&rsquo;s foundations, millennial nature and how to improve our future. The two also discussed Dr. Armstrong's involvement in the&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Persephone Project</a>, which&nbsp;is "<em><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">charged with the design and implementation of a giant natural computer that will form the &lsquo;living&rsquo; interior to the Icarus Interstellar worldship, which constitutes a kind of &lsquo;space&rsquo; Nature</a></em>".</p> <p> As a bonus, over at&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Centauri Dreams</a>, Paul Gilster <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">shared </a><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Rachel Armstrong&rsquo;s August 15th presentation at Starship Congress</a>, with his readers.</p> <p> h/t <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Bruce Sterling</a></p>