In this project I worked with a group of microorganisms that are capable of producing tangible matter, with the particular focus on exploring the biological material ‘Bacterial Cellulose’. The future potential of this material that can be ‘grown’ rather than ‘manufactured’ has been recognised and developed during the last decade by both scientists and designers alike.
Through this project I aim to explore potential manufacturing processes and applications for this living material, experimenting with different patterns of feeding and nuturing to control growth. My practical research led me to develop a concept for a device capable of controlling the growth of bacterial cellulose, in effect a biological printer. But instead of printing the material, the device feeds it in the area where we d like to stimulate the growth.
Rather than propose a viable new manufacturing process I am keen to pose the following questions: How could such a device alter our current perception and understanding of consumer products? Would the patience required in using growth processes to acquire goods lead to changes in attitudes towards material culture? Could it lead to new ways of material engineering?
By employing technology in order to manipulate organic matter I also aim to question our constant efforts to control nature and it’s unpredictable patterns.