Most artificial membrane surfaces are designed to perform a single task, like gas exchange or chemical catalysis, and they often have a chronic problem of surface fouling by foreign contaminants. In my lab, we envision the development of multifunctional membrane surfaces that enable the simultaneous operation of molecular sensing, recognition, and catalysis. We use theory, simulation, and experiments to engineer tunable, “living” surfaces that combine the dynamic programmability of active matter with the molecular specificity of biological membranes. Our ability to recognize and transport specific molecular species based on biophysical surface modulation may enable the continuous operation of biosensors, chemical diagnostics, gas exchangers, and other surface transport and catalytic processes. Our pursuit of such technology will advance our basic scientific understanding at the frontier of disparate disciplines in active matter and biological membrane reconstruction.