Faber Futures | Experiment no. 1 | The Print Room

[Project completion 2013]
"The first collection of textiles produced by traditional screen printing but using dyes produced by bacteria."- Carole Collet, Curator
In the first experiment of the Faber Futures series of design research, a new age of emerging craft practice through the convergence of design and molecular biology is envisioned. The series provides the basis to explore various hypotheses using creative design thinking and making as a mechanism to drive the application of biotechnology. In theory, harnessing living systems- from Biomicry to Synthetic Biology- could lead to a more resilient future, but how do we put that into practice?
The Print Room presents the first collection of textiles produced by traditional screen printing using dyes that have been manufactured by bacteria. In this project, Natsai has created a system to 'train' bacteria to produce variable pigments as a by-product of their metabolic activity. Following experiments in extraction, enough pigment is produced to screen print directly onto textiles.
This ambitious project illustrates the potential that lies in harnessing living organisms to create the raw materials and craft protocol required to one day replace heavily polluting chemicals-based industries.
This project is a collaboration with Professor John Ward, The Ward Lab, University College London.
Professor of Synthetic Biology for Bioprocessing, The Advanced Centre for Biochemical Engineering, Department of Biochemical Engineering, University College London
With support from Espace Fondation EDF for ALIVE: NEW DESIGN FRONTIERS
See more here.

Team Credits

Natsai Audrey Chieza

  • Reprogrammer of Nature

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Natsai Audrey Chieza
Reprogrammer of Nature