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The World’s First “Bionic Leaf” That Removes Carbon Dioxide From The Air & Releases Oxygen

As the V&A’s first Engineer in Residence, Julian Melchiorri was interested in exploring how the latest advances in biotechnology and engineering could be applied to everyday objects to improve the quality of our lives.

source/image(PrtSc): julianmelchiorri

Taking inspiration from the Museum’s Art Nouveau and Islamic art collections, Melchiorri created Exhale, the world’s first bionic chandelier, which now sits in the new Members’ Reception of the V&A. Formed of modular leaves containing microorganisms, this living and breathing chandelier removes carbon dioxide from the air and releases oxygen. Watch the video from Victoria and Albert Museum for more info:

The man-made “plant” can create endless oxygen using light and water!But thanks to graduate student Julian Melchiorri, long-term space travel could soon be a reality. Melchiorri worked with Dezeen and MINI Frontiers to produce the Silk Leaf, an invention capable of sustaining life.


The Silk Leaf is a synthetic biological leaf that will absorb water and carbon dioxide and produce oxygen similar to the way a plant does. It was developed through Melchiorri’s Design Engineering course in collaboration with the Tufts University silk lab.