Living Architecture

April 1, 2016 Cordis – Community Research and Development Information Service


Living Architecture (LIAR) is a modular bioreactor-wall, which is based on the operational principles of microbial fuel cell technology and synthetic ‘consortia’ of microbes. LIAR is conceived as a next-generation selectively-programmable bioreactor and integral component of human dwelling, capable of extracting valuable resources from waste water and air, generation of oxygen and production of proteins and fiber by manipulating consortia performance. Its operational principles are grounded in distributed sensing, decentralised autonomous information processing, high-degree of fault-tolerance and distributed actuation and reconfiguration. Applications within urban systems are examined as a form of customizable micro-agriculture for installation in domestic, public (schools, hospitals) and office environments. Such a system has far reaching impacts on the building performance (resilience, resource recycling) manufacturing and design with ecosystems.

The project establishes:

  • Foundational concepts through which ‘designed’ metabolisms can computationally process, recycle, remediate and synthesise valuable compounds from waste water.
  • Transferable principles by which synthetic ecosystems can shape the environmental performance of our living spaces to increase our health, productivity and ecosystems impact.
  • New standards for synthetic ‘ecosystems’ through consortia design, engineering and optimization.
credit: Rachel Armstrong