Nature is based on complex self-assembling systems that span from the nanoscale to the macroscale. We have already begun to design biomimetic systems with properties that have not evolved in nature, based on designed molecular interactions and regulation of biological systems. Synthetic biology is based on the principle of modularity, repurposing diverse building modules to design new types of molecular and cellular assemblies. While we are currently able to use techniques from synthetic biology to design self-assembling molecules and re-engineer functional cells, we still need to use guided assembly to construct biological assemblies at the macroscale. We review the recent strategies for designing biological systems ranging from molecular assemblies based on self-assembly of (poly)peptides to the guided assembly of patterned bacteria, spanning 7 orders of magnitude.