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The most futuristic building In New York wasn’t made by humans

Sustainable Building Materials


Basing building and manufacturing on biological phenomena can improve the performance of human artifacts and make them more environmentally sustainable.

Perspectives and insights

  • Much of the natural world is built out of cellulose that gives support to plants and chitin that armors many insects and crustaceans.
  • By adapting biopolymers to work with 3D printing and optimizing them for diverse applications, we can make them accessible to industries that would otherwise fabricate plastics.
  • There are materials and structured in the natural world that can be independently optimized and recombined to suit human needs.
  • An interesting perspective on silkworms could be to consider them as nozzles on a “massively multiplayer” printer, the control of which depends on adjusting their environment to control their collective behavior.