See more objects with the tag light, plants, illumination, lamp.

Object Timeline

  • We acquired this object.


  • Work on this object ended.


  • Work on this object began.



  • You found it!

Triennial Project Record, Nanobionic Plant Project: Ambient Illumination, 2016-ongoing

This is a Triennial project record. It was designed by Michael Strano and Sheila Kennedy. It is dated 2016-ongoing. Its medium is installation and images. It is a part of the department.

To make a living plant emit sustained visible light, the Strano Lab at MIT infuses it with chemically interacting nanoparticles including luciferin, luciferase (an enzyme that modifies luciferin so it will glow), and coenzyme A (which enhances the activity of luciferase). The metabolism of the plant then powers the light emission, which can be experienced in this model by looking through the peepholes.

It is credited Courtesy of MIT Professor S. Kennedy and Professor M. Strano Research Groups with KVA.

This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibition Nature—Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial.

There are restrictions for re-using this image. For more information, visit the Smithsonian’s Terms of Use page.

For higher resolution or commercial use contact ArtResource.

If you would like to cite this object in a Wikipedia article please use the following template:

<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url= |title=Triennial Project Record, Nanobionic Plant Project: Ambient Illumination, 2016-ongoing |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=27 January 2023 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>