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Living Architecture: How Synthetic Biology Can Remake Our Cities and Reshape Our Lives (Kindle Single) (TED Books) Kindle Edition

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Length: 51 pages Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product Details

  • File Size: 326 KB
  • Print Length: 51 pages
  • Publication Date: February 6, 2012
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0076QQJMY
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #232,774 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Rett01 VINE VOICE on February 12, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Villagers in remote Cherrapunji India build footbridges by training root tendrils from trees that are members of the banyan family to span rocky gullies and gorges. The living bridges can reach 30 meters. They're permanent and strong enough for 50 people to cross at a time.

The root bridges of Cherrapunji are a primitive example of living architecture, using nature and bio-mechanisms to design and build without relying on traditional industrial, machine-manufactured processes. Living architecture offers a bold, futuristic vision that sounds like science fiction but according to the author is a fresh idea that despite many challenges is eminently workable, and represents a practical way to reclaim and sustain our environment.

"Living Architecture" is Armstrong's blueprint for attaining that new, audacious vision.

In order to grasp the concept of living architecture, you need to understand "protocells," which are the building blocks of the new living materials and methodologies that might supplement and even supplant existing design and manufacturing methods.

Protocells are not living molecules. They don't contain DNA and can't reproduce. But they can be "created" by combining natural chemicals and substances (oil mixed with an alkaline solution, for example) and they do have properties such as the ability to organize themselves into microstructures. They exhibit behaviors such as movement and sensitivity to biological or chemical elements and light, for example.

In a big "What-If" Armstrong asks what if we could employ to protocell principles to stabilize one of the "most ferociously unstable" places on the planet - Venice, which is crumbling from the corrosive effects of being assaulted for three centuries by the forces of nature.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Ben on February 8, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
Living Architecture was written in the wake of the recent devastating Japanese tsunami and reflects on some of the architectural practices that underpin modern urban development. It asks the question 'why do we, as living creatures inhabit things that are not alive?' and sets the scene for fundamentally different ways of making structures and materials. New possibilities are discussed in the context of recent scientific developments. `Living technology' is a set of new technologies whose performance lies somewhere between machines and biology. As such, they blur the distinction between living and non-living processes as well as challenge the separation assumed to exist between a building and its natural environment. Living Architecture proposes a new relationship for urban development where people work in concert with and orchestrate the forces of nature using living technology to create new architectural outcomes. The proposed approaches are compatible with ecologically engaged practices such as, Panarchy, Permaculture and Biomimicry and takes a multi-systems view of Living Architecture at many scales of operation ranging from the micro scale, to the city. Living Architecture is at an early stage of development but its speculative approach is based on real world experiments, which are also discussed in this book. Additionally Living Architecture reflects on a possible alternative scenario for the devastated Sendai coastal region should the potential of living architecture be fulfilled, which takes the form of a short science fiction story.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Ben on February 7, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
Living Architecture has a mission - to set the scene for fundamentally different ways of making structures and materials. The aim is to `grow' more ecologically compatible buildings by using life-like technologies. The result is a new kind of architectural practice where cities behave more like an ecosystems than machines. Living Architecture was written in the wake of the recent devastating Japanese tsunami and asks 'why do we, as living creatures inhabit things that are not alive?'.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Andrew Waller on September 6, 2012
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An interesting review of some current thinking on biologically based architecture. It doesn't seem very coherent, nor does it give many specific details as to the "how this could be achieved." I often had the impression that I was reading a college capstone paper. It's a small cost if you are interested in the subject matter, however.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By nate on November 10, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book opens up a wonderful view of architecture and the possibilities and benefits of using living material to build, rather than inert objects, such is also so wonderfully possible I am convinced that synthetic biology is going to be playing an amazingly vital role in our lives in the next few years, I can hardly imagine how great the things we can have will be, houses and buildings that take in carbon dioxide and release oxygen, maybe living carpets that clean themselves, and maybe emit a pleasant and fresh smell, a building that can react not only to the environment around it but to you, that can heal itself. This is not just the key to sustainability but it can also solve amazing engineering marvels, the floating cities of the future not only can be created but should be, with the living protocells. I could go on forever but I highly recommend this book.

It is an easy read and explains almost everything you need to know, check out Regenisis as well for more on Synthetic Biology
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