Biological systems are an ideal environment to study the physics and chemistry of self-organization far from thermodynamical equilibrium. However, they are challenging to study due to many constraints and entangled parameters. To understand the rules governing self-assembly, we are developing novel model systems that reconstitute essential cellular functions. We borrow proteins and building blocks from living systems and restore their function outside of the cell, under conditions and concentrations that allow the assembly of new complex materials. The unique capabilities of the developed system provide insight into possible mechanisms by which nanometer-sized molecules drive macroscale order. We study the phase transitions of different materials in a non-equilibrium environment. We focus on the questions: How does energy consumption change the parameter space? What are the new universal parameters in non-equilibrium systems and biological systems in particular? Is it possible to identify new phase transitions unique to biological systems? How do forces and symmetries propagate over different length scales? How do materials keep order?