Part of PhD research in creative practice at Newcastle University : School of Architecture, Planning & Landscaping
Thesis Supervisors :
Dr. Martyn Dade-Robertson & Dr. Helen Mitrani
Bacterial Cultivation as Sculpting
This research focuses on exploring the design potential of bacterial-induced biomineralisation. A process that sits within the speculations regarding our changing relationship with nature through engineered biological systems and new material processes. In this convergence of design and biological fabrication, the role of the designer is shifting from sculptor to assuming the perspective of the cultivator in the study and production of these new material assemblages.
The project represents ongoing research on assemblages of biologically fabricated matter. The research concentrates on the structuring of a biofabrication process whose purpose is to form a microbial induced mineralised structure. It explores material- and fabrication methods that incorporate living cells as an inherent part of its process and outlines parameters that facilitate the synthesis of the biomaterial. This experimental process of biomineralisation through careful crafting of compositions can potentially lead to shaping living matter through template-guided bacterial mineralisation. The aim here is to utilise this induced mineral material and demonstrate the different ways the design paradigm can potentially sculpt living matter and inherently evolve our relationship with biological design in new ways.
Experimental probe used to map out the cementation process
Diagram of the cementation process through controlled parameters using a bioreactor to sustain the living material during the form moulding.