Synthetic biology

The "first man-made biological leaf" could enable humans to colonise space

Dezeen and MINI Frontiers: RCA graduate Julian Melchiorri says the synthetic biological leaf he developed, which absorbs water and carbon dioxide to produce oxygen just like a plant, could enable long-distance space travel. Read more »

Cars of the future could evolve and mutate "like biology"

Dezeen and MINI Frontiers: Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg explains how cars made from biological materials could change and adapt to their environments, which she is investigating for our Dezeen and MINI Frontiers exhibition. Read more »

Growing a "giant artificial reef" could stop Venice sinking

Dezeen and MINI Frontiers: in the second part of our interview with Rachel Armstrong, the senior University of Greenwich lecturer explains how a synthetic "limestone-like" support structure could be grown underneath Venice to prevent the city's foundations being eroded. Read more »

Glowing trees could be used "instead of street lighting" says Daan Roosegaarde

Dezeen and MINI Frontiers: Dutch designer Daan Roosegaarde is exploring ways of using the bio-luminescent qualities of jellyfish and mushrooms to create glow-in-the-dark trees that could replace street lights. Read more »

3D-printed mushroom roots "could be used to build houses"

Dezeen and MINI Frontiers: designer Eric Klarenbeek, who displayed a chair made out of 3D-printed fungus at Dutch Design Week in October, says the technique could be used to create larger, more complex structures. Read more »

Synthetic materials can "behave like living cells"

Dezeen and MINI Frontiers: scientists are combining non-living chemicals to create materials with the properties of living organisms, says the creator of a self-repairing shoe made from protocells. Read more »

Related Dezeen content

Synthetic creatures could "save nature" says Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg

Synthetic living creatures would be released into the wild to save endangered species and clean up pollution under this futuristic proposal by designer Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg (+ slideshow + interview). Update: this interview is featured in Dezeen Book of Interviews, which is on sale now for £12. Read more »

Olafur Eliasson's tears used to make human cheese

Bacteria from personalities including artist Olafur Eliasson, curator Hans Ulrich Obrist and chef Michael Pollan have been used to make human cheese as part of an exhibition about synthetic biology in Dublin. Read more »

Self-repairing trainers 3D-printed from biological cells by Shamees Aden

Wearable Futures: London designer and researcher Shamees Aden is developing a concept for running shoes that would be 3D-printed from synthetic biological material and could repair themselves overnight. Read more »

Living Food by Minsu Kim

This conceptual food by Royal College of Art graduate Minsu Kim would wriggle around on the plate and in your mouth (+ movie). Read more »

Bio-surfaces containing "hacked" bacteria could clean your feet as you walk on them

Buildings in the future could feature floors embedded with synthetic bacteria that eat dirt and clean your feet, according to this project by design student Tashia Tucker (+ slideshow). Read more »