Four years ago we wrote about a vision to create bioluminescent trees that would replace streetlights. This dream is getting just a little bit closer, now that a team of Stanford trained synthetic biologists led by Antony Evans launched a Kickstarter campaign to grow glowing plants.
Using Genome Compiler software, the team is ready to input bio-luminescence genes into a mustard plant and have it be naturally glowing. Natural lighting with no electricity. Hypernature ahoy!
For a fresh perspective on modern branding and honesty, and as a parallel to Next Nature’s own vision of the honest egg, have a look at the work of Viktor Hertz. A designer from Uppsala in Sweden, Hertz decided to follow the idea of brand honesty to its logical conclusion by visualizing a complete range of outcomes.
Companies routinely spend thousands to hundreds of thousands on logos and branding aimed at putting a positive gloss over their products. What if the downsides couldn’t be hidden in the small print or conveniently omitted, and had to be up front in the branding? Viktor calls his set “Honest Logos”.
The full set of designs after the jump…
Ever wondered what will happen to our city gardens if space becomes scarce? Jewelry designer Hafsteinn Juliusson has shrunk these gardens and made them wearable. His line ‘Growing Jewelry’ holds actual living greenery. The sterling silver accessories are handmade in Iceland and seem like a promising alternative for bringing some green into the city streets. No green thumb? Don’t worry! It only needs watering every 5 weeks, although Hafsteinn takes no responsibility for that. How about growing a rose for your next date?
When moss photosynthesize, they release nutritious fats, carbs and proteins into their roots to feed colonies of helpful, symbiotic bacteria. In the process of breaking down these compounds, the bacteria release electrons. In other words, the create electricity. Researchers at the University of Cambridge have figured out how to harness these minute electrical charges into an emerging technology called biophotovoltiacs (BPV).
Created by Alex Driver, Carlos Peralta, Paolo Bombelli, the prototype Moss Table produces enough electricity to power a small lamp. According to Peralta, the Moss Table “suggests a world in which self-sustaining organic-synthetic hybrid objects surround us, and supply us with our daily needs in a clean and environmentally friendly manner.” Small devices could be powered by houseplants or backyard gardens, while larger arrays of plants might hold promise as a new renewable source of energy, especially in remote or impoverished communities.
In his (fictional!) documentary, designer and artist Tobias Revell sketches the city of New Mumbai powered by giant mushrooms. These genetically-engineered fungal organisms provide a new type of infrastructure – providing heat, light and building material.
The documentary shows how the mushrooms grow quickly and begin to harvest the sun, creating energy that provides heat and lighting, like an organic solar panel. They can even be engineered to power a whole building. Some grow strong enough to be used as shelter, parts of building structures, and surfaces to grow local crops.
The mushrooms’ benefits expand even further as the clever residents of the Dharavi Mumbai slums discover new features. Their porous surfaces also absorb water from the seasonal downpours, which can be collected and used for drinking and bathing.