27th February 2015
Teresa van Dongen is one of a series of designers who is exploring nature and science to create sustainable products.
Using octopus bacteria she has created a lamp that glows blue when it is given a gentle push.
Driven by the desire for a sustainable lamp and her interest in both design and biology, the resulting Ambio lamp balances two weights and a glass tube that is filled with artificial seawater and luminescent bacteria.
By pushing the lamp gently oxygen mixes with the water and the bacteria glow brightly replicating the natural phenomena of bioluminescent waves in nature.
2nd February 2015
For those who have been following my blog for a while will know that I am an avid fan of bacteria, Algae, fungi and mycelium in design so for my material of the month I will showcase some of the best, old and new projects in this area.
The opportunities these organisms/materials offer in a future materials palette are endless and fascinating as shown by projects such as the Algaemy project and Fungi Mutarium Incubator.
One of the most interesting projects in this arena and one that has been in research for over 5 years is Officina Corpuscoli .
An on-going, long-term research-project it is looking at the possibilities of mycelium as an ingredient for sustainable design and materiality is exploring how fungal organisms can be used to produce alternatives to plastics.
Looking to 3D print with bacteria, to making sustainable 'grown' fabrics the breadth of this project offers an alternative materials future.
11th December 2014
Issues surrounding plastic in our waste streams and ways of breaking it down using fungi is an ongoing point of interest and discussion between designers, materiologists and scientists and one that is creating some intriguing propositions.
The Fungi Mutarium Incubator which was showcased in Eindhoven last week is the latest and mixes decomposition with future food. Designed in collaboration with Livin Studio and Utrecht University it cultivates mycelium within egg shaped pods made from agar (FU) whilst breaking down plastic as it grows.
Plastic is placed in the incubator along with diluted mycelium cultures which develop over the agar pods whilst slowly digesting the plastic and filling the space within them.
A slow process, it can take several months for the plastic to be fully digested by the fungi and research continues to speed this up, but what is interesting is that the agar pods can be removed at the end of the process and eaten.
The team have also come up with a recipe to create flavoured FU which can then be filled with other ingredients to make a full meal.
They have also designed a set of cutlery that has been designed specifically for eating the fungi from the pods.
3rd November 2014
Rugs and carpets were one of the over riding product choices during Dutch Design week (more to come on that in a separate post) but one particular rug has garnered a lot of attention is the Sea Me rug made from sea algae from designer Nienke Hoogvliet.
Wanting to draw attention to the contrast between the polluting plastic waste that humans are creating in the sea and the hidden beauty of the sea she hand knotted sea algae yarn with an old fishing net.
Sea algae grow much faster than cotton and could potentially provide a future more sustainable alternative.
The yarn is created using cellulose that is extracted from kelp seaweed and is harvested in South Africa. With similar properties to Viscose it has a naturally occurring organic aesthetic.
Hoogvliet dyed the yarn in varying shades of green that blend naturally into each other in keeping with the natural message that she is trying to get across about issues surrounding textile production and sustainability.
26th June 2014
For those who know me and those who read my blog regularly will know that I love mould, algae and bacteria so I was delighted to find this beautiful work from Katie Petrie at New Designers yesterday.
A jewellery designer she has been exploring the beauty to be found in the colour and textures from bacteria and mould.
Culturing her own 'live' patterns she has then translated them onto silver and copper pieces exposing beautiful greens, browns and uncomfortable but beautiful textures.