Future Design

Collaborating with Nature

Leather grown from fungi and textile dye produced by bacteria are two examples of applications of microbiology that are finding their way into the design field. Designers explore the expressiveness of such new materials through design interventions that can change our attitudes to finite (petrochemical) and/or toxic materials.

As designers start to collaborate with nature, practitioners learn to harness living systems and local waste streams to create biobased circular materials. But what is needed to take these applications out of the lab and into the classroom, the design studio or small scale business, the city? Designers and researchers from Waag’s Textile Lab and Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences discuss their projects to bring high-tech applied knowledge into local communities of practice.

About the speakers

Troy Nachtigall is Professor of Fashion Research and Technology at AUAS. He is at the crossroads of fashion, IT and creative technology. He experiments, designs, develops software and analyses data to arrive at new methods and tools.

Ista Boszhard is a concept developer and co-founder of Waag’s Textile Lab Amsterdam. In her work she always questions the status quo that we are used to and explores possible and desired alternatives for the textile and clothing industry. Being value-driven, she combines intuition and research into cultural studies. Ista also works as a lecturer at the Amsterdam Fashion Institute (AMFI) and HvA.

Anne Vlaanderen is a maker educator and producer of Maakplaats 021: the maker spaces inside the public libraries in Amsterdam.

Loes Bogers is senior lecturer and researcher at AUAS Faculty for Digital Media & Creative Industries. She is currently cultivating a learning community around Critical Making & Research through Design.

Emma van der Leest graduated in 2015 with a bachelor’s degree (honours) from the Willem de Kooning Academy in Rotterdam. Form Follows Organism: The Biological Computer is the title of her research and book on biodesign and the shifting role of a designer working collaboratively with scientists. Throughout the years Emma has developed a number of different working materials. She is also the founder of BlueCity Lab, an experimental and prototyping laboratory in the former Tropicana water park in Rotterdam.