Rachel Armstrong – Living Architecture
Rachel Armstrong teaches at the Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London, where she is advocating a new approach to architecture — one that sees buildings becoming living things. One of the best things about working at the Bartlett are some of the extraordinary people that you spend time with day to day and while I often get lost in the science when Rachel explains her goals for a Living Architecture, I adore the passion and vision of a truly interactive architecture capable of continual conversation with it built and natural environment.
Key to Armstrong’s work are protocells — little cells of fat that can be sprayed on a building, creating a sort of frosting. These are designed to trap carbon dioxide and solidify it, turning it into solid pearls of calcium carbonate or biolime or mock rock. This coating will protect the building and even mend cracks. These protocells could even be used to stop Venice sinking, says Armstrong. Her plan is that the cells would be programmed to solidify when they get to the bottom of the lagoon, shoring up the foundations of the buildings above and thereby supporting the sinking structures. Find out more at TED and Rachel’s own website.