Nanobionic Plant Project: Ambient Illumination

Om een levende plant langdurig zichtbaar licht uit te laten stralen injecteert het Strano Lab van MIT deze met chemisch op elkaar inwerkende nanodeeltjes, zoals luciferine, luciferase (een enzym dat luciferine modificeert zodat het oplicht) en co-enzym A (dat de activiteit van luciferase versterkt). De stofwisseling van de plant drijft dan de lichtemissie aan. 

De plant in Nature is onderdeel van een lopend experiment van MIT & KVA Matx design team's 'Plant Project'. Het doel van dit project is om omgevingslicht te produceren met levende planten zoals ze in de vrije natuur voorkomen. Deze planten zijn niet genetisch gemanipuleerd in welke vorm dan ook en de ontwikkelde nanobiologosche technieken zijn toe te passen op andere planten, struiken of bomen. 

Help mee: Selfies gevraagd

Dit project kent een eigen Instagramaccount @plantproperties om te volgen. Door het delen van selfies gemaakt in de virtuele plant party kamer en het taggen van PlantProperties help je al mee met het crowd source van informatie over deze nanobionische planten.

Het orginele persbericht over dit bijzondere project: 

PLANT PROPERTIES: A Future Urban Development

“The 2019 Design Triennial will confront climate change—and asks all of us to reevaluate our relationship with nature. Opening the Triennial simultaneously on both sides of the Atlantic at the Smithsonian Design Museum in the United States and the Cube Design Museum in the Netherlands paves the way for leaders and communities from all sectors to engage with design in this important dialogue.”

Caroline Baumann, Director of the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum.

The Strano Lab at MIT and the KVA Matx design team present Plant Properties, an installation at the 2019 Design Triennial. This work is an ongoing experiment that is part of the Nanobionic Plant Project at MIT.  The goal of this project is to produce ambient lighting with living plants growing in their wild and natural states. The plants are not genetically altered in any way, and the nanobionic techniques being developed are biocompatible and could be applied to any existing plant, shrub or tree.  

Plants are a living technology. Plants generate and store their own fuel from sunlight, they can access the water they need from diverse environments, they can self-repair, they can live and persist through severe weather events-- and plants do all of this autonomously. 

Using only energy from the sun and the plants’ own stored and renewable chemical energy, nanobionic plants could provide ambient lighting that absorbs carbon dioxide emissions without needing batteries or electricity or any part of the electrical grid.  The living plants growing in the Plant Properties installation are part of a multi-week test of a nanoscale component called the Light Capacitor that augments a plant's generated light.  Learn more about the Nanobionic Light Emitting Plant at MIT at  At the Smithsonian Design Museum, visitors can join the experiment and help to crowd source information on plant growth and brightness by taking their own photos of the plant rooms and including the tag @plantproperties in their photo uploads.  At the Cube Design Museum, visitors can immerse themselves virtually in the Plant Party Room and upload their photos to celebrate new partnerships between plants and people. 

The Plant Properties installation demonstrates the architecture of a post-electric, vegetal future when people depend upon living plants for ambient light. Plant cultivation and the science of plant nanoionics have become the responsibility of all citizens.  Museum visitors can peak inside the daily life of a NYC residential building which has been designed to support the growth of nanobionic plants. Nature that was once outside the building now comes inside: interior rooms offer unexpectedly bright sunlight, darkened rooms are illuminated by wild-growing plant light, and vast spaces are carved out of the building to stock soil and compost. The nature-based ecologies and natural resources that museum visitors see designed in the Plant Properties model building— the nanobionic plants, sunlight harvesting systems, plant water transport and recycling, soil collection and natural ventilation—are living, actual and real.  The Plant Properties installation demonstrates an attainable future where plants and people share a renewed interdependency and the needs of plants have become central to architecture. If learning from living plants could be the starting point of advanced technology, plants could replace our current wasteful, toxic and unsustainable systems of residential infrastructure —for the mutual benefit of all plant dependent species, including people. 

Project Credits

Nanobionic Light-Emitting Plants, 2016–ongoing; Michael Strano (American, b. 1975), Seon-Yeong Kwak (Korean, 1983), and Pavlo Gordiichuk (Ukrainian, b. 1986), MIT Chemical Engineering (Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA. 

Sheila Kennedy (American, b. 1959), Ben Widger (American, b. 1984), Anne Graziano (American, b. 1993), Daniel Marshall (United Kingdom, b. 1993), Karaghen Hudson (American, b. 1995), Greta Wong (American, 1996), KVA Matx, Boston, MA, USA.  Zain Karsan (Canadian, b. 1991), Jeffrey Landman (United Kingdom, b. 1988Patrick Weber (German, b. 1994), MIT Architecture, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.

Nanobionic watercress plants; Dimensions variable; Courtesy, MIT Professor S. Kennedy & Professor M. Strano Research Groups.