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Living architecture for urban systems

Living architecture for urban systems

Design and build a proof-of-concept 'living architecture', transforming our habitats from inert spaces into programmable sites.

Project leader

Professor Rachel Armstrong (PI)

Professor Anil Wipat

Dr Gary Caldwell


April 2016 to March 2019


European Commission


Universita Degli Studi di Trento

University of the West of England

Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas

LIQUIFER Systems Group GmbH

Explora SRL


Living Architecture (LIAR) is a modular bioreactor-wall.

Based on the operational principles of microbial fuel cell technology and synthetic ‘consortia’ of microbes. 

LIAR is a next-generation selectively-programmable bioreactor.

It is an integral component of human dwelling. It is capable of extracting valuable resources from waste water and air. It generates oxygen. It produces proteins and fiber by manipulating consortia performance.

Its operational principles are:

  • distributed sensing
  • decentralised autonomous information processing
  • high-degree of fault-tolerance
  • distributed actuation and reconfiguration

The project examines applications within urban systems. This application is a form of customizable microagriculture. It is for installation in domestic, public (schools, hospitals) and office environments.

This system has far reaching impacts on the building performance:

  • resilience
  • resource recycling
  • manufacturing
  • design with ecosystems