Future 50: Rachel Armstrong 01.08.13

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Icon asked a dozen experts and practitioners to nominate the people they think are, in some way, shaping the future. The resulting list of global talent is a snapshot that shows how young designers and architects are pushing the boundaries of their disciplines and trying to change the world

Rachel Armstrong is a doctor, sci-fi author, multimedia producer and scientist. As co-director of Avatar at the University of Greenwich, her research investigates the potential and opportunities that surround architecture and synthetic biology. "Investing in the long-term survival of the human race is our most important challenge," Armstrong says. She recently explored the possibility of saving Venice from drowning using protocell technology (ICON 096) and she is working on developing synthetic soils "a complex chemical technology that is not only the foundation for all human activity, but necessary for us to develop more sustainable ways for living". This research feeds into her role as leader of Project Persephone for the Icarus Interstellar group, which aims to achieve interstellar flight by 2100. "While all matter is restless when considered at the quantum scale, my work explores how non equilibrium chemical systems may be engaged in the production of space and experience," she explains.

London
www.icarusinterstellar.org

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