The recent announcement from Craig Venter that his team at Synthetic Genomics has designed and grown an entirely new type of bacteria cell (the world’s first artificial life form) has changed that. This revolution will now be televised, making synthetic biology a permanent part of our cultural consciousness.
The implications to our society are enormous, and the ethical and practical considerations are myriad. It has made me wonder about our built world and where a synthetic biology trajectory might lead. Will we be able to grow a live building in the future and what relevant forms might result? I think the answer lies in the tracking of several emerging trends. I also believe that any future edifice will, out of necessity, evolve from an interweaving of these trends.