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The design and construction of compartmentalized chemical ensembles for modelling complex biological systems, exploring the origin of life, and advancing future living technologies is attracting considerable interest in a wide range of research communities. In this talk, I will review some recent experiments undertaken in my laboratory that provide steps towards synthetic cellularity. I will discuss three new protocell models based on; (i) nanoparticle self-assembly (colloidosomes) , (ii) interfacial assembly of protein-polymer nanoconjugates (proteinosomes) , and (iii) micro-droplet formation (coacervation) . In each case, the underlying concepts and emerging properties will be discussed.