Synthetic Aesthetics - Federici + Benjamin http://syntheticaesthetics.org/residents/federici-benjamin Project Synopsis http://syntheticaesthetics.org/residents/federici-benjamin#post-169 Sat, 11 Dec 2010 15:34:04 We are exploring new ways of using biological systems as design tools. In our collaboration, we are investigating several ways to combine synthetic biology and architecture with a focus on using cells as bio-processors.
 
Bio-Fabrication
In contrast to digital fabrication and CNC machines with a fixed and pre-determined physical output, we are experimenting with the manipulation of biological systems for a bottom-up approach to design. We are investigating multiple ways to fabricate synthetic composites by generating novel morphogenetic mechanisms in bacteria and plants. This may involve using bacterial patterning for the assembly of bio-materials.  It may also involve using the regulated spatial distribution of plant cells for the creation of novel composites through material deposition and cross link.
 
Bio-Computing
While there are many examples of identifying and using the form of nature in design and architecture, there are few examples of identifying and using the logic of nature. We are experimenting methods of extracting complex behaviors of cells at the scale of microns and applying them to architecture at the scale of meters. We are investigating the use of 3D lignocellulosic patterns in xylem cells to solve architectural structure design problems. But we are aware of the limits of translation, and we are attempting to identify exactly where scaling up might break down.

Architecture Education
We are developing methods for incorporating synthetic biology into architecture design studios and teaching new processes of design with biology.

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"Biocomputation" in Paris and Rotterdam http://syntheticaesthetics.org/news-events#newspost-259 Wed, 09 Apr 2014 15:14:08

 

"Biocomputation" by David Benjamin and Fernan Federici has recently been exhibited at En Vie/ Alive: New Design Frontiers at the Espace Fondation EDF, Paris, France, April 26 2013–September 1 2013. It was also shown at at Biodesign at the Netherlands Architecture Institute, Rotterdam, September 27 2013–January 26 2014, curated by William Myers. 

"In the growing discipline of synthetic biology, living systems are engineered to help solve problems across various industries. For this project, David Benjamin and his firm The Living are designing new composite building materials through a pioneering intersection of synthetic biology, architecture, and computation. These new composite materials offer insight into the near future when synthetic biology may help us design and manufacture the built environment with higher performance and lower environmental impact than traditional methods.

In this project, bacteria become factories for manufacturing building materials through a combination of three of their natural features. Bacteria can produce flexible, fabric-like substance as well as rigid, brick-like substance. Bacteria can also generate complex, self-organised patterns. In an experiment combining these features, two different types of genetically modified bacteria are mixed in a large petri dish with nutrients, and through their growth and interaction they generate flat sheets of material with distinct rigid and flexible regions.

This process, which is still being refined in the lab, is then modelled in a software workflow. Thousands of design options are explored by varying the properties of the bacteria, which translates into different patterns in the sheets. The software workflow is built through Autodesk Maya and custom plug-ins, and it uses techniques of simulation and optimisation common in aerospace and architectural design.

The resulting composite sheets have novel properties of structure and transparency, and they can be applied to new high-performance envelopes in buildings, boats and aeroplanes. In the experiment documented in this exhibit, new composite sheets are designed for potential use in an aeroplane envelope. In the future, these processes of bio-computation and bio-fabrication will offer many more possibilities for design."

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Testing bacterial composites for synbio architecture http://syntheticaesthetics.org/news-events#newspost-208 Fri, 18 Nov 2011 12:48:31

Video by Fernan Federici & David Benjamin, StudioX, New York (GSAPP, Columbia University) as part of their ongoing collaboration.

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Xylem Cell http://syntheticaesthetics.org/news-events#newspost-207 Fri, 18 Nov 2011 12:37:31

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Bacterial Patterns http://syntheticaesthetics.org/residents/federici-benjamin#post-168 Thu, 09 Dec 2010 21:13:19

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Post by http://syntheticaesthetics.org/news-events#newspost-157 Wed, 03 Nov 2010 17:01:10

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Post by Fernan Federici http://syntheticaesthetics.org/residents/federici-benjamin#post-128 Thu, 16 Sep 2010 11:04:00

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Post by Fernan Federici http://syntheticaesthetics.org/residents/federici-benjamin#post-119 Wed, 01 Sep 2010 20:34:49

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Post by David Benjamin http://syntheticaesthetics.org/residents/federici-benjamin#post-107 Wed, 18 Aug 2010 23:12:57

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Post by David Benjamin http://syntheticaesthetics.org/residents/federici-benjamin#post-106 Wed, 18 Aug 2010 22:59:17 Powers of Ten: A Film Dealing with the Relative Size of Things in the Universe http://syntheticaesthetics.org/residents/federici-benjamin#post-105 Wed, 18 Aug 2010 15:55:26 By Charles and Ray Eames, 1977

 

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