What if buildings had lungs that could absorb carbon emissions from the city and convert them into something useful? What if they had skin that could control their temperature without the need for radiators or air-conditioning? What if buildings could come "alive?"
"Not as such," claims Dr Rachel Armstrong, senior TED fellow and co-director of Avatar, a research group exploring the potential of advanced technologies in architecture. "Over the next 40 years, 'living' buildings -- biologically programmed to extract carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere -- could fill our cities."
Armstrong works on the cutting edge of "synthetic biology," a relatively new science devoted to the manufacture of life-like matter from synthesized chemicals, and is something of an evangelist for the discipline.
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