Fewer things are as enthralling as learning that a material is few moments away from being "alive." The expanding definition of "life" or "alive" is not only a consequence of joyful abuse of language and metaphors, but also the outcome of an increasingly able gaze upon the things that make -- and with which we make -- the world we supposedly know.

This is how I originally met Zbigniew Oksiuta near one of his gelatin-based spheres, thinking of how water could now again breed life into this structure. Make it sprout -- or decay.
Zbigniew Oksiuta is an artist, architect, and scientist, interested in the possibility of designing biological structures, whose work combines architecture, biology, physics, and genetic engineering.

Originally from Poland, he currently teaches in the School of Architecture at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), in Albany, N.Y., and produces and exhibits work in several countries across the globe.

Mr. Oksiuta's work includes built architectural structures, scientific experiments and art installations spanning several countries.

His work engages the formulation of a new biological habitat investigating biological materials' potential in the formulation of new forms of living on Earth and in space.

I asked him about some of the main themes in his publications.

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