Bionic City

By Melissa Sterry | Biomimetics, Biotechnology & Biology for the Built Environment

Beyond Terminator: squishy 'octobot' heralds new era of soft robotics

Ditching conventional electronics and power sources, the pliable robot operates without rigid parts.<p>A squishy octopus-shaped machine less than 2 …

Robotics

New "Bionic" Leaf Is Roughly 10 Times More Efficient Than Natural Photosynthesis

A tree's leaf, a blade of grass, a single algal cell: all make fuel from the simple combination of water, sunlight and carbon dioxide through …

Biology

AA School of Architecture Designs Adaptable Structural Plastic 3D Printing Method

The AA School of Architecture’s DRL Masters Program has developed a thesis project, entitled Growing Systems, which explores adaptable building …

Architecture

Biohybrid robots built from living tissue start to take shape

Another option is to use more robust cells as actuators. Here at Case Western Reserve University, we've recently begun to investigate this …

Nucleo launches Terra 2.0 grow-it-yourself grass armchair

Italian design collective Nucleo has tweaked its popular design for a grass armchair that grows over time, relaunching it with a crowdfunding …

Design

Art from the gut: the scientifically inspired work of Elpida Hadzi-Vasileva

The highly respected Macedonian artist Elpida Hadzi-Vasileva will show a selection of her recent work at the Djanogly gallery in Nottingham later this month, demonstrating her unusual and ambitious installations in a grand, three-part exhibition. Hadzi-Vasileva specialises in mixed-media …

Artists

Making the World Safer for Birds, One Piece of Glass at a Time

On the most beautiful days of spring, Mary Shidel begins her rounds around 6 in the morning. As a banding assistant at the Powdermill Avian Research …

Cut Road Deaths With Mountain Lions

Are you afraid of sharks? What about snakes or spiders? Put those fears aside: because in the U.S. you’re far more likely to be killed or injured by …

Science

Patented bioelectrodes have electrifying taste for waste

New research at Michigan State University and published in the current issue of <i>Nature Communications</i> shows how <i>Geobacter</i> bacteria grow as films on …

Science

Life-Size Copper Tree Sculptures Immortalize the Beauty of Demolished Forests

As the world’s environment and natural resources continue to rapidly diminish, Lee Gil Rae constructs enormous forests of copper to capture the beauty and intricacy of trees in permanence. His most recent gallery, Pine Tree, contains a surreal, leafless forest that one can meander through, with …

Copper

Clear Choice: A Glass Globe Terrarium by Designer Richard Clarkson

Brooklyn-based designer Richard Clarkson’s goal is to create products that inspire wonder, from a cloud lamp that simulates a thunderstorm to a rotary-dial cell phone.<p>Now the team at Richard Clarkson Design Studio has created a hanging glass orb so captivating that it makes us question everything …

Landscape architecture

Storks dine out on giant landfill sites instead of migrating

By<p>IT MIGHT not look that appetising to us, but for white storks, this dump is like an all-you-can eat buffet.<p>White storks traditionally make an epic …

Spider silk microstructure found to have unique acoustic properties

Researchers have learned another thing about spider silk, and as with past discoveries, it may lead to the development of new materials for use among …

Spiders

Mexican village uses fireflies to halt deforestation by local logging industry

In the village of Nanacamilpa, tiny fireflies are helping save the towering pine and fir trees on the outskirts of the megalopolis of Mexico City.<p>Thousands of them light up a magical spectacle at dusk in the old-growth forests on reserves such as the Piedra Canteada park, about 45 miles (75km) east …

Fireflies

Holobiont Urbanism – City as a complex, adaptive, biological superstructure

Created by Regina Flores as a part of her MFA thesis at the Parsons, with support from the Playful Systems Group at the MIT Media Lab, <i>Holobiont</i> …

Maps

Smart bricks will transform how buildings work

Smart bricks capable of recycling wastewater and generating electricity from sunlight are being developed by a team of scientists from the University …

Science

Studio Mumbai to use bamboo to build Melbourne's MPavilion

Studio Mumbai founder Bijoy Jain has revealed his design for this year's MPavilion, billed to become the largest bamboo structure ever built in …

Bamboo

First Prize Winning Design Cuts Natural Amphitheater Into Cliffside in Italy

A proposal from AM3 Architetti Associati with Cannone Architetti uses the flow of the natural landscape to create a theater cut into a cliffside in …

Italy

City slicker monkeys are overweight and have high cholesterol

By<p>City slicker monkeys have it easy – but with their newfound lifestyle come health concerns.<p>Many white-footed tamarins seem to have been only too …

Urbanization

Architects Built This Monumental Land Art By Imitating Geological Processes

The structures, part of Tippet Rise Art Center, were created by man-made versions of erosion, fragmentation and sedimentation.<p>On the Southern edge of Montana, just north of Yellowstone National Park and at the foot of the hulking Beartooth Mountains, the Tippet Rise Art Center is preparing to open …

Land art

The CocoDish: a natural, sustainable, and reusable vessel for culturing bacteria

When I began to study microbiology some 30 years ago we used to use a lot of reusable glassware. For example, Glass Petri Dishes, Universal Bottles, …

Bacteria

When the bee family starts feeling comfy inside the extruded plastic strings.. #citastudio #CollectiveConstruction https://t.co/Wt2SA7kajY

Researchers build a crawling robot from sea slug parts and a 3-D printed body

Researchers at Case Western Reserve University have combined tissues from a sea slug with flexible 3-D printed components to build "biohybrid" robots …

Science

Why urban wildlife is thriving in Berlin

Berlin might seem like a concrete jungle, but the metropolis has more biodiversity than you'd expect. What is it about Berlin that attracts wild foxes, raccoons, boars and the largest number of birds in all of Germany?<p><i>DW:</i> <i>Miss Koch, c</i><i>oncerned citizens call you when they've had an encounter with a</i> …

Wildlife

Party live streams Androp music video projected onto flowers

<b>Music:</b> Japanese production studio Party is live streaming its music video for Androp's track Hana onto a bunch of white lilies (+ movie).<p>Throughout …

Music Videos

Unnatural Selection: Humans Are Driving the Evolution of New Species

On top of all the extinctions, humans are causing new species to emerge rapidly.<p>Species across the world are rapidly going extinct due to human …

Supergrass, or the Anthropocene is Local

[Image: Artificial grass stretches onto a sidewalk in Somerville, MA; Instagram by BLDGBLOG].<p>While reading that “land use has already pushed …

Mexico, Canada, and the US created a “flyway” to save the Monarch butterfly, and it’s working

At the North American Leaders Summit on Wednesday (June 29), Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau, US president Barack Obama, and Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto—AKA “the three amigos”—talked about trade, Trump, and immigration. It was a friendly meeting, and Peña Nieto in particular seemed …

Latin America

Engineered Bacteria Can Manufacture Nano-Electronics

Nanowires could be used in small powerful devices<p>Give a man tryptophan, and he falls asleep (supposedly). Give tryptophan to genetically modified bacteria created by University of Massachusetts-Amherst biologists, and they produce tiny conductive wires that may one day be used in electronics. Call …