"Biotic" by Studio Lionne van Deursen from Uden in the Netherlands


22. February 2022

Take yeast, bacteria and sweetened green tea – this mix becomes a biodegradable, resistant and highly flexible material after a fermentation process. How it works? Microbes spin nano fibres of bacterial cellulose onto a surface. Once this layer dries, it becomes a solid material with properties very similar to leather. The thickness of the fabric can be easily adjusted during the growth process: Depending on the duration of the growth, it either becomes more unstable and thinner or firmer and thicker. Depending on the thickness, different nuances and different translucencies are created in the material. With these material properties, there are various design possibilities: For example, when wet, a texture can be applied that remains visible even when completely dry. The colour of the fabric can also be easily changed due to its high absorption capacity. Trial and error therefore pays off. Experiments with plant dyes and dyes from fruit waste have resulted in a fabric collection with bright colours, different light transmission and varied patterns.

Living organisms that produce environmentally friendly materials – this stands for the “Biotic” project of the Lionne van Deursen studio from Uden in the Netherlands dedicated to material research and product design, which was launched in 2019. Through various experiments, the team generates insights into the incredible variety of new and bio-based materials. The advantages speak for themselves: only local resources are required for the production of the material and only plant-based means are used for dyeing. This results not only in sustainable materials, but above all in a sustainable production process.

“The goal of the project is to develop sustainable products with materials that are not harmful for the environment. The project shows the possibilities of a biologically grown material. The material created by living microorganisms is biodegradable and strong while remaining a high flexibility.”

– Lionne van Deursen

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