Whatever people think about the rapid pace of change in the past, the fundamental arrangement of materials on the planet has not altered. There are living things which we call life, and there are non-living things which we call rocks, tools, buildings and so on. As a result of our greater understanding of matter, this distinction is now becoming blurred and is likely to usher in a new materials age.
Mark Miodownik, from the Institute of Making, believes bionic people with synthetic organs, bones and even brains will be the norm. Just as we become more synthetic, so our man-made environment is changing to become more lifelike: living buildings, and objects that heal-themselves are on the horizon.