Genspace NYC │ 2016
Winning the ‘Design Stipend Award’ from the ‘Groote Sociëteit Arnhem’ for my project ‘Industry by Nature’ granted me the opportunity to spend a research period at Genspace in New York City. At Genspace, a bio community lab in Brooklyn, I conducted research into manipulating the growth of a variety of organisms to influence the formation of structures, colors, shapes and patterns.
An example of a biomaterial I worked with was bacterial cellulose in Kombucha (a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeasts). One of the characteristics of Kombucha is that it grows a layer of cellulose on the surface of the liquid culture. Knowing this feature, I experimented with different ways to influence the growth of the cellulose. One of the ideas was to create patterns on the surface by using sound vibrations (cymatics). Another experiment was adapting the depth of containers by adjusting the bottoms into conical, waved and beveled shapes. I also influenced the growth of the cellulose by creating containers from smart textiles to influence where the cellulose would grow.
During this research period I explored different ways to rethink the way we could create objects made from biomaterials by using its ability to grow.