Designer’s bacteria-infused knitting loom evokes “multi-actor fabrication”

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In London, designer Bastian Beyer is using bacteria to solidify knitted materials into room elements such as spatial dividers and shading features.

More specifically, Beyer’s Column Project infuses woven jute structures with bacteria Sporosarcina pasteurii, which is then sprayed with calcium chloride and urea. As the bacteria feed and grow, they produce calcite structures that solidify over the jute in a couple of days.

“The project can be understood as an architectural mediator of a multi-actor fabrication process, allowing the interdependent inputs from the digital, the microbiological as well as the human body to merge into one co-creating entity,” Beyer tells The Architect’s Newspaper.

The work won a 2018 Autodesk ACADIA Emerging Research Award.