Poster: Living Architecture: A Modular and Programmable Synthetic Ecosystem for the Built Environment

“Living Architecture: A Modular and Programmable Synthetic Ecosystem for the Built Environment” British Phycological Society 2017, January 2017, Bangor, Wales, UK

Rachel Armstrong, Gary S. Caldwell, Simone Ferracina, Andrew Adamatzky, Ioannis Ieropoulos, Juan Nogales, José L.
Garcia, Barbara Imhof, Waltraut Hoheneder, Angelo Vermeulen, Davide De Lucrezia, Martin Hanczyc


Living Architecture (LIAR) is a next-generation, selectively programmable bioreactor envisioned as an integral component of human dwelling; extracting resources from sunlight, wastewater and air, and generating oxygen, proteins and biomass.

The LIAR bioreactor unit is being prototyped based on the operational principles of microbial fuel cell (MFC) technology and synthetic microbial consortia (SMC). The outcome will be two building blocks: a programmed and configured MFC to produce electricity, and the SMC to purify air and water.
An array of bioreactor units will act in parallel to a computer capable of both sensing local conditions within a building and controlling the bioreactor system to optimise the building’s environmental impact. A key deliverable will be a freestanding partition wall composed of 1,000 bioreactor ‘bricks’ that can be incorporated into common building construction methods.
In future, the LIAR unit can become a form of customisable, programmable micro-agriculture for installation in domestic, public and office environments. The technology could potentially address global scale challenges of urban sustainability and resource management.