Rachel Armstrong, a Fellow at the University of London's Bartlett School of Architecture, describes the mixing of architecture and biology for environmental remediation. Trained as a medical doctor, Armstrong has proposed using living materials to rescue the city of Venice from sinking, and using revolutionary new paints on buildings to capture carbon emitted from street traffic.
Rachel Armstrong is an interdisciplinary researcher and sci-fi writer. She is a Senior Lecturer in Research & Enterprise at the University of Greenwich & Co-director of architectural research group, AVATAR. Her speciality is Synthetic Biology & Architecture.
Her pioneering collaborative work on the 'Future Venice' project proposes that it may be possible to stop the historic city from sinking into the mud on which its foundations are based, by growing an artificial limestone reef underneath it.
This could be engineered using 'protocells', a programmable, life-like chemical system that can make artificial shell-like material, as well as working symbiotically with the native wildlife in the Venetian waterways.