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. Learn more about the Nanobionic Light Emitting Plant at MIT at

The Plant Properties installation demonstrates the architecture of a post-electric, vegetal future when people depend upon living plants for oxygen, water remediation and ambient light. Plant cultivation and the science of plant nanoionics have become the responsibility of all citizens. Peak inside the daily life of a NYC residential building which has been designed to support the growth of nanobionic plants. The Plant Properties residential building 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.

Date: 2016-present
Status: ongoing
Client: KVA/Strano Lab
Location: A Future Urban Development
Design Team:
MIT Chemical Engineering
Michael Strano, Seon-Yeong Kwak, Pavlo Gordiichuk
MIT Architecture & KVA
Sheila Kennedy, Ben Widger, Anne Graziano, Jeffrey Landman, Karaghen Hudson, Zain Karsan, Daniel Marshall, Patrick Weber, Greta Wong

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