Inspirational appetizers on remarkable startups, emerging trends and bleeding-edge research

Variety blossoms


Sawdust makes for stylish furniture, while flags embedded with seeds have a blossoming afterlife.

Now, a research team from the University of Virginia is creating building elements from soil impregnated with stonecrop seeds.

The 3D printed, one-metre high walls are soon ablaze with lush green.

These reusable structures are not only low in emissions but also store CO2, while simultaneously offering an ideal environment for insects.

In addition, the soil walls have insulating properties – like solutions with fungal cells – and could soon be used as alternative building materials.

Right now the team is focusing on making more complex structures with the help of a moving robot.

This solar-powered automaton, meanwhile, could hold the key to making the desert more green.

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