A biomanufactured brick won top honors in Metropolis magazine's Next Generation Design Prize Challenge. This year's contest was aptly themed “One Design for the Future.”

American architect, Ginger Krieg Dosier, formulated a biomanufactured brick from bacteria and sand. Dosier, 32, designed the bio-brick that replaces the baking process with simple mixing and chemical reactions.

The process combines sand, common bacteria, calcium chloride, and urea in a process called microbial-induced calcite precipitation (MICP) and yields bricks with sandstone-like properties. Depending on how it's made, the bio-brick can reproduce the strength of clay-fired brick or even marble. The bio-brick can take up to two weeks to grow while clay bricks can be produced in two days.

If Dosier's biomanufactured masonry replaced each new brick on the planet, it would reduce carbon-dioxide emissions by at least 800 million tons a year.

Alexander Keller, a 23-year-old graduate student at the Rhode Island School of Design, was a runner-up in the competition with his design for a solar masonry unit. Each artificial brick is dotted with 32 or 128 solar cells, depending on size, and packs an inverter and a battery into its recycled plastic shell. The interlocking bricks also contain strategically placed outlets.

The annual competition promotes activism, social involvement, and entrepreneurship in young designers. Submissions range from urban planning and community building projects to environmental management. Winners receive $10,000 to further their efforts.

Visit www.metropolismag.com for more information.

Brickbats compiled by editorial intern Josh Krol.
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