We have made pioneering contributions to the development of lab based catalytic self-assembly systems. For example, we have demonstrated that structurally diverse materials could be produced from a single molecular structure, by altering the kinetics of the catalytic assembly process. Biology's ultimate functional adaption - Darwinian evolution - is ultimately based on alteration and optimization of peptide sequences. We have developed approaches to mimic this process in the laboratory. Selection for suitable sequences could be achieved by fully reversible catalytic sequence exchange- where many peptides continuously interconvert. Those sequences that have a preference for self-assembly or binding are amplified through their relative stabilization, giving rise to self-selecting materials, that are optimized depending for the conditions they are exposed to.