Smart Textiles Design Lab Blog at The Swedish School of Textiles

“Designing and Living with Organisms” at the Symposium on Artistic Research with the title “Working Together”

Working Together

“Artistic research is multidisciplinary and collaborative in character. It covers a large number of art forms and research fields – all with their own needs and prerequisites. This year’s symposium on artistic research is about collaboration. What does it mean to conduct research in or between subjects and disciplines?”

If you would like to join the discussion “Designing and Living with Organisms” at the Symposium on Artistic Research with the title “Working Together” you can register for free via the link below.The 60 mins discussion round via zoom will take place wednesday the 25th November 15.25-16.30 Session 5
Abstract:Designing and Living with Organisms

Today researchers, artists, and designers increasingly collaborate with living organisms such as fungi, bacteria, and plants. They explore microencapsulation of targeted bacteria in women’s underwear to support the skin flora (Tomasello, 2020), biomaterials in fashion and textile education (fabricacademy, 2020); biomineralization of textiles through bacteria (Beyer, 2019), extrusion of algae-laden hydrogels to facade panels (Malik et al., 2019), tile production by mycelium (mogu, 2020), living plant constructions (Ludwig et al., 2012), robot plant relationships (Wahby et al., 2018), and computational living substrate (Adamatzky et al., 2019) for developing perspectives to living buildings.

Many of these activities are initiated by designers and start-ups in semi-professional environments, design workshops, and private kitchens before they are pursuit in more professional lab environments and with experts in the field. Working together with living organisms in design workshops and domestic homes establishes a connection to everyday life activities and experiences. They allow physical experiences and identification with the living. 

The conversation is stimulated by recorded interviews with professionals, young practitioners, and students working with living organisms and aims to create a discourse that revolves around the potentials and challenges of designing and living with living organisms. How can we design for, and together with living organisms, how does it change the practice, what are the methods, ethics, and implications, how can we develop shared visions for multi-species cohabitation? 

Beyer. B. (2019). ‘Between Duck and Tree. Metabolism-informed composite tectonics’. PhD Thesis. Royal College of Art, London.Wahby M, Heinrich MHofstadler DNeufeld EKuksin IZahadat PSchmickl TAyres P and Hamann H. (2018). Autonomously shaping natural climbing plants: a bio-hybrid approach. Royal Society Open Science. 10.1098/rsos.180296, 5:10, (180296).
Adamatzky, A., Ayres, P., Belotti, G. and Wösten, H. (2019). Fungal Architectures (Position Paper). 
Int. Journal of Unconventional Computing, Vol. 0 (pp. 1–15)

Ludwig, F., Schwertfeger, H. & Storz, O. (2012). ‘Living systems: Designing growth in baubotanik’. Architectural Design, 82(2), 82-87.

Malik, S., Hagopian, J., Mohite, S., Lintong, C., Stoffels, L., Giannakopoulos, S., … Parker, B. (2019). Robotic Extrusion of Algae-Laden Hydrogels for Large-Scale Applications. Global Challenges, 4, 1900064.

Mogu. (2020). ‘’. Retrieved January 19, 2020, from

Textile Academy (2020). ‘Fabricacademy. A New Textile Academy’. Accessed June 30, 2020 <>

Tomasello, G. (2020). ‘Giulia Tomasello’. Accessed June 30, 2020 <>


Comments are closed.