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Aug 11, 2016

Forget concrete and cement. DARPA thinks skin and bone make better building blocks

Posted by in categories: futurism, materials

Have you ever seen the movie called “The Haunting” with Liam Neeson and Catherine Zeta-Jones? If you have; you will appreciate this article. A living building.


The US’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is attempting to build living, self-healing, programmable buildings.

DARPA’s Engineered Living Materials (ELM) program imagines that materials like bone, skin, bark and coral could form future building blocks as they provide advantages over non-living materials built with today, in that they can be grown where needed, self-repair when damaged and respond to changes in their surroundings.

“The vision of the ELM program is to grow materials on demand where they are needed,” said ELM program manager, Justin Gallivan.

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Comments — comments are now closed.

  • Josh on August 18, 2016 12:31 pm

    Will it stand the environment over time? Concrete and cement have proven that it can withstand mother nature.

  • Karen on August 19, 2016 11:29 am

    I believe the point in the article is that bio (even synthetic bio) is designed due to synthetic living cells (like with humans and animals and vegetation) can continue to refresh and self repair with a central server mimicking brain functions. Concrete and other non-bio materials where cell circuitry is non-existent cannot and do over time deteriorate as abandon buildings and homes have shown us over time.