Highlights

ACTIVE ORIGAMI Project PRESENTED AT CALTECH

The 2019 Engineering and Mechanics Institute Conference (EMI 2019) was held at the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, LA on June 18-21, 2019 and saw approximately 1000 delegates meet to exchange ideas about emerging engineering concepts.   Crude application incorporating multiple folds based around the Miura-ori origami fold pattern.   Emily Birch was invited to […]

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SEM & EDS analysis of calcite formations in hydrogels

Hydrogels can be used as soil analogues to study bacteria growth and MICP in-situ in a more confined and easily accessible environment. In this study of microbial induced calcium carbonate crystal growth in agarose hydrogels, Beate has been investigating the influence of variation in the cementation media on micro-scale calcite growth and distribution. EDS X-ray […]

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Available positions: Join The Hub

Further job openings in both Newcastle University and Northumbria University at the Hub for Biotechnology in the Built Environment are now available. These positions include a Professor, Research Fellows, Post Doctoral Researchers and support staff (including technical support, a Hub manager and Hub administrator). See below links to adverts, specific job descriptions and deadlines:   Permanent Academic Position: Newcastle […]

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Job Openings: Research Intensive Academic Track Positions

The world’s first research Hub for Biotechnology in the Built Environment (HBBE) has received £8million in funding from Research England in partnership with Northumbria, that combines two research clusters: Architectural Design at Newcastle University and Biotechnology at Northumbria University. Co-led by Martyn Dade-Robertson, the Hub aims to develop new technologies and create a new generation of Living Buildings that are responsive to […]

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We are growing something new…

…watch this space.

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Application of Bacterial Cellulose for Architectural Material Systems and Design

Synthetic biology, a revolution in biotechnology, induces a more direct relationship between biology and the built environment, in which architecture makes use of materials and structures that are, in part, living.   This research aims to examine living matter in architecture to realise a living architectural membrane. This is conducted by exploring bacterial cellulose produced […]

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Investigating the Properties of Mycelium to Develop Free Form Building Materials

Today, mycelium is used in many different ways: As packaging in industry; as acoustic panels; wall insulation, bricks in buildings, as textile or as a raw material in designed objects such as furniture. The purpose of this research is to explore the tectonic features and possibilities of pure mycelium as a living building material by […]

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Position as a Research Assistant /Associate in Design and Bio Computation Available

We are advertising an 18-month Research Assistant/Associate who will lead on the development of a new type of computational model integrating data from individual genes to forces through large volumes of material and living cells – visualising the 3D results of our Synthetic Biology system at multiple scales. We are looking for creative, highly motivated […]

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Mycelium Construction

Architecture students from level 5 and 6 concluded their exploration into building with a living material with an exhibition at the Laing Gallery.  Their investigation was carried out in the Bio Design Lab at Newcastle University which allowed the students to interact and conduct experiments in a sterile and contained laboratory environment.     Microscopic view of the […]

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Visualisation of MICP in agarose hydrogel

Following on from Javier’s work on the application of agarose gel as a soil analogue, his project introduced a novel application in which agarose gels can be used for the development of early-stage demonstrators, by allowing an easier monitoring and greater control over the physical, chemical and mechanical properties of the environment. Thus allowing testing […]

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Architectural Technology Studio 2019: Building with Living Materials

Students from level 5 and 6 started their experimentation on a living material exploration today. The studio, 4th Order: Building with Living Materials led by Martyn Dade-Robertson, Thora H Arnardottir and Dilan Ozkan, focuses on exploring, not only, the material properties of mycelium-based materials, but the semiotics of the material. It aims to define the 4th classical […]

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Testing glass cementation vessel

A video preview of glass work produced for the project Thinking Soils of the liquid run-through in preparation for the biocementation process and testing as part of an ongoing PhD research development. 

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Active Origami awarded for Newcastle University’s Research Scholarships and Expeditions

Emily Birch has been working with us in the lab since this summer on her project Active Origami, an environmentally responsive architecture facade system which was just awarded the winning student poster for Research Scholarships and Expeditions 2018. Her project focused on developing a methodology for Bacillus subtilis hygromorphic bilayers with a latex substrate and suggest how this […]

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Highlights from MIT Media Lab Global Biosummit

The Global Community Biosummit held at MIT Media Lab brought together over 300 participants of DIY bio-enthusiasts from all over the world to convene, and continue the evolution of the ‘community biotechnology’ movement. The Bio Summit developed, through a co-creation process, a ‘Statement of Shared Purpose’ for the community : Our shared purpose is to fundamentally transform the life sciences […]

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Project BioVer from the BioCentric Design Group wins 3rd Prize at RESHAPE18

The project BioVer has won third prize on the Wearable Technology category at RESHAPE18. The project, which proposes exquisitely designed jewellery/worn pieces which constitute “unfolded petri dishes” which in the words of the designers are: “…digitally redesigned as a ring and a necklace, are in fact inhabited by specimens of Physarum polycephalum, protist observable by […]

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Thinking Soils at MIT BioSummit 2018

We are excited to announce that Thora and Martyn will be attending the Global Community BioSummit 2018. Our video will be presented along side a poster at MIT Media Lab.

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Designing with Living Materials presented at IAAC

Thora presented her experience in designing with living materials in a lecture at the Institute of Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC) last week. Her focus was on her thesis topic, working with biomineralisation as a material for designers, and the Thinking Soils project. The presentation was a part of the Biology ZERO series, run by Dr Nuria Conde Pueyo and Jonathan Minchin […]

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Paper: Mild hydrostatic pressure triggers oxidative responses in Escherichia coli

Our paper titled: Mild hydrostatic pressure triggers oxidative responses in Escherichia coli has been published in the scientific journal Plos One, July issue.   The abstracts as follows: Hydrostatic pressure is an important physical stimulus which can cause various responses in bacterial cells. The survival and cellular processes of Escherichia coli under hydrostatic pressures between 10 MPa and […]

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Paper: Design and modelling of an engineered bacteria- based, pressure-sensitive soil

We have published our paper on the design and modelling of an engineered bacteria-based, pressure-sensitive soil in Bioinspiration & Biomimetics, July issue.   The abstracts as follows:   In this paper, we describe the first steps in the design of a synthetic biological system based on the use of genetically modified bacteria to detect elevated […]

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The bio design lab in action

    Our team hard at work in our bio design lab in the Devonshire building at Newcastle University in our new Thinking Soils lab coats. After some time setting up we have a few projects that are already making use of the facilities. Here, Beate and Thora have been cultivating and experimenting with a biomineralising bacteria and […]

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