Magnus Larsson: Turning Dunes into Architecture

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Magnus Larsson: Turning Dunes into Architecture

This inspiring video from TED Talks, features architecture student Magnus Larsson who has a bold plan to halt desertification and transform the Sahara desert by creating a living wall built out of bacteria and sand.

Architecture student Magnus Larsson wants to turn some of the most deserted and harsh landscapes on the planet into habitable structures. How? By turning loose sand dunes into solid architecture using bacteria. A team at UC Davis has been looking at the microorganism bacillus pasteurii to solidify the ground in earthquake-prone areas. As Larsson puts it, “All I did was to deliberately misapply their technology … and to pump up the scale, and turn it into a 6,000-km-long wall that’s made of sand and protects against sand.”

After talking with Jason DeJong at UC Davis and with Stefano Ciurli, a b. pasteurii expert at the University of Bologna, Larsson put together a team at University College London to grow the bacteria and attempt to solidify sand. His Holcim Award-winning proposal is a complement to the Green Wall Sahara shelterbelt, being planted across the African continent. Larsson is now investigating how to bring the project to the next stage: a 1:1 scale prototype.” (TED Talks)

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