Photosynthesis supports the biosphere. Currently, human activity appropriates about one fourth of terrestrial photosynthetic net primary production (NPP) to support our GDP and nutrition. The cost to Earth systems of "our cut" of NPP is thought to be rapidly driving several Earth systems outside of bounds that were established on the geological time scale. Even with a fundamental realignment of human priorities, changing the unsustainable trajectory of the anthropocene will require reengineering photosynthesis to more efficiently meet human needs. Artificial photosynthetic systems are envisioned that can both supply renewable fuels and serve as platforms for exploring redesign strategies for photosynthesis. These strategies can be used in the nascent field of synthetic biology to make vast, much needed improvements in the biomass production efficiency of photosynthesis.