Adobe Stock

A new experimental building material may be coming soon. Instead of wood, textiles, and glass, some design students at the 2018 Biodesign Challenge Summit are experimenting with biological materials like bacteria. Examples include biofiltering wallpaper that cleans the air within a home, microbially enhanced flooring, and microbiome analyzers for bathrooms. Co.Design’s Katharine Schwab explains more about the products and how having these microorganisms in homes might not be a bad idea.

Biofiltering Wallpaper
Created by students at the Universidad de los Andes in Colombia, Yando is a protoype for air-purifying wallpaper that’s made from cyanobacteria–the bacteria that power photosynethesis in plants. They clean the air of your house by turning carbon dioxide into oxygen, but because they’ve been reengineered, the bacteria pull double duty as air fresheners. They also light up at night, acting like a nightlight or just a living piece of art.

Microbially Enhanced Flooring
A group of students from the Universidad del Istmo in Guatemala created a new way of thinking about floors that mimic the look of tiles but are actually made of biologically reduced waste from the construction industry. For the project, called Organic Remediation Materials, the team proposes using different colored tiles in patterns that mimic the country’s textiles.

Read about more of the products at Co.Design.

Read More