Feb/March 2014: B.U.G. (Beautiful.Useful.Green) Design

     bio bricks from bioMason, Inc.

Ginger Krieg Dosier, former architect and now scientist, is on her way to revolutionizing our aging manufacturing processes with biology, using what she once considered to be the lowest common denominator in construction – the brick.

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– bioMason grows bricks –
image via Siddharth Siva

Why is it beautiful? “Ever since I was a child, I have been fascinated with the act of making,” says Krieg Dosier in a TED talk. Many of us don’t think of a brick as a thing of beauty, but what if that brick was grown in a closed-loop system that eliminated all emissions from its manufacturing process? Using sand and bacteria, Dosier’s company bioMason does just that – using a ‘brick nursery’ to grow bio-cement material without carbon emissions.

Why is it useful? BioMason’s better, cleaner, and more sustainable bricks have the potential to clean up the building blocks of construction. Flush with the “huge encouragement” of award-winnings (Metropolis Mag’s 2010 Next Generation design competition and Denmark’s Postcard Lottery’s 2013 Green Challenge), Krieg Dosier is at work with teams in the USA and the United Arab Emirates on scaling up the manufacturing process.

Why is it green? Bricks are used in 80% of global construction — 1.23 trillion bricks are produced annually worldwide; the firing process releases 800 million tons of carbon pollution each year. That’s more than what is released by all the airplanes in the world every year. Krieg Dosier’s transformative idea uses principles of biomimicry to apply nature to the way we make our physical world. Her planet-saving solution uses chemistry, biology and materials science to grow bricks like one would grow plants in a greenhouse.

Visit Sally’s Blog for more B.U.G. Designs.

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