Right now 3D printing is considered to be the cutting edge of future production of goods but if the designers at IDEO have their way 3D printing will be taking the back seat to the creation of goods via “programmable” bacteria.
To achieve this Will Carey and Adam Reineck of IDEO teamed up with Reid Williams. Imagine a photo-sensitive microorganism that would have its light-sensitive switch connected to a different property — perhaps to produce a hard shell.
The end product as you can see from the image above would be a tough everyday product, like a cup, that is made out of cells that are encased in cellulose or chitin, which is the major part of lobster shells
While this whole idea is still completely conceptual it is based on real science.
“One day if we understand how to program [living organisms,] we can encode things beyond software–we could encode materiality” says Carey. “That’s already happening in nature, but we have no idea how to do that ourselves.”
via Fast Company
Needless to say the idea of being able to literally grow everyday products is definitely an interesting one to consider.