What will the city of the future look like? More like an ever-changing and vibrant garden than a static set of buildings and blocks. In 'Living Architecture: How Synthetic Biology Can Remake Our Cities and Reshape Our Lives,' British scientist and architect Rachel Armstrong re-imagines the world’s extensive urban areas and argues that in order to achieve sustainable development of the built environment — and help countries like Japan recover from natural disasters — we need to start thinking differently. Armstrong sets the scene for considering different ways of making structures and materials, suggesting that we can ‘grow’ more ecologically compatible buildings by using life-like technologies, such as protocells. The result is a new kind of architectural practice where cities behave more like an evolving ecosystem than lifeless machines.