The BioBabes are a collective of feminist biodesigners, all with the common ambition of designing a better future. The group works with different material and fabrication processes for a variety of projects, including working with living organisms and organic matter. By creating these projects they hope to bring biodesign to a wider audience and explore biofabrication, sharing knowledge and understanding of different methodologies and research in order to create sustainable solutions. The collective also extends its consultancy studio to others, welcoming collaborations with people from a variety of fields. This kind of design thinking allows biodesign and biofabrication to move forward, making it more and more possible for it to be industry-standard.
Biological designer and doctoral researcher
Metabolic environmental designer and fungal researcher
Biodigital designer and global nomad
Fashion designer and eco innovation researcher
A project created in partnership with artists, designers, and researchers, Future Wardrobe proposes new perspectives on the textile industry. An exploration of materials, tech, and living species, to design a future with equality of shared nature. Future Wardrobe is currently developing a ‘living jacket’ that uses living algae. This jacket acts as a topic of discussion for the urgencies and opportunities in relation to fashion and the natural environment. The BioBabes believe that the future of fashion sees us wearing clothes that work in symbiosis with ourselves and nature. Changing the way a fashion piece is designed, they look at the algae in the jacket as the client instead of the human that will be wearing it. This in turn means that the piece becomes the perfect habitat for the algae to live. This bio-centric approach allows the algae to flourish and stay alive, making the jacket a living garment.
The microganism physarum polycephalum is an acellular slime mold. BioVer is a habitat created for this microrganism in order to redevelop our relationship with nature. The wearable glass vessel is a piece of jewellery which brings the mold out of the laboratory, and allows it to be magnified in the glass which acts as a three dimensional petri dish. This project proposes a slower pace of life, synchronising human activity with natural cycles. Slime mold has been proven to be able to solve complex problems in efficient ways, even though it is acellular. It even exhibits characteristics similar to those seen in single-celled creatures and eusocial insects. This is why it is a model organism for research into cells.
BioCatalytic Cell uses a biophotovoltaic film system to create an energy-producing algae cell. Algae is able to convert solar energy into electricity using photosynthesis. Therefore the team creates a panel that rotates the algae in order to agitate it, and generate electricity. This is done through a network of conductive anode and cathode meshes with a carbon catalyst to transfer electrons from the cell surface to the electrode that harvests them. Each panel is positioned in a way that allows it to have as much sun exposure as possible, and they individually create approximately 55 millivolts per panel, which is enough to power LED lights. This project was created in collaboration with Dr Paolo Bombelli at Cambridge University at IAAC for a biophotovoltaic installation at London Zoo.