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Designing a Sustainable Future: Laboratory Project Showcased at the Design Museum

Visitors to the Design Museum in London are in for a treat as the Biorenewables Development Centre's groundbreaking laboratory project for Faber Futures takes the spotlight. The project, which involved cutting-edge biodesign techniques, is featured in an exhibition film curated by Future Observatory, the museum's national research programme dedicated to the green transition.


Showcasing Solutions to Environmental Challenges


Running from November 20, 2023 to August 2024, the exhibition marks the first in a series that highlights six research projects redefining design practices to address environmental concerns. From experimental textile dyeing methods to visionary concepts for future buildings, the showcase presents diverse approaches aimed at shaping sustainable and livable futures.









Faber Futures' Biodesign Takes Center Stage


Faber Futures, a pioneering biodesign agency, collaborates with nature to minimise the environmental impact of production processes. Their work using dyes produced by microorganisms such as Streptomyces spp is a focal point. Visitors can witness the journey from bacterial cells to fashion products through the lens of a captivating film and explore the tangible results with the eye-catching "Exploring Jacket."


Rosie Nolan, Senior Technologist, Biorenewables Development Centre said;

“This was an interesting project for us to work on. We carried out a two stage fermentation process to produce a large piece of microbially dyed silk which was developed into a jacket. The microorganism was initially grown in a bioreactor, to increase the number of living cells, then these cells were applied to large pieces of silk. After a few days microbial dyes were released and absorbed into the fabric.”


Future Observatory: Designing Tomorrow, Today


Natsai Audrey Chieza, Founder and CEO, Faber Futures, commented;

"Our "NPOL Original: Exploring Jacket" and the accompanying documentary, which follows its journey from bacterial cell to final fashion product, showcase our ongoing research on how we can use emerging biotechnologies to tackle key challenges as we strive to reduce carbon emissions and restore biodiversity. We're excited to keep working with the BDC as we continue to develop the processes, infrastructure, and supply chains enabling the production of our bacterial dyes."



The exhibition has been funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) which plays a pivotal role in supporting independent researchers across a spectrum of disciplines, from history and archaeology to philosophy and design. Their contribution underscores the interdisciplinary nature of the showcased projects and the broader impact of research on sustainable design.


Visitors keen on exploring these cutting-edge design projects can do so until August 2024, during the museum's regular opening hours. No pre-booking is required, offering a unique opportunity for individuals to immerse themselves in the transformative world of sustainable design.

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