‘Biotic’ is an ongoing material research to the possibilities of a biologically grown material. In this project microbes are used to grow a biological material which is made of bacterial cellulose. Bacterial cellulose is made using yeast and bacteria in a fermentation process. During this process bacteria spin nano fibers of cellulose and produce a layer on the surface. When this layer has dried, it becomes a solid material that has comparable properties to leather. The material that the living microorganisms create is biodegradable, strong and has a high flexibility.
During the growing process nuances arise in the material which influence the translucency of the dried material. The thickness of the material is variable and can be easily changed during the growing phase. The material will be stronger and thicker by longer growth in the liquid.
The goal of the project is to show the possibilities of this material and design within the properties of the material. The material, in wet and dried phase, has various material properties. For example when the material is still wet, a texture can be applied and when the material has fully dried, the applied texture is still visible in the material.
The colour can also easily be changed due to the high absorption of the grown material. After the growing process the studio experimented with different natural plant dyes and dyes made from fruitwaste, to see how these dyes can affect the colour and texture of the material. The experiments resulted in a collection of fabrics with different colours, translucency, applied textures and patterns.