[NL] Worm hotel – the smallest hotelchain!

ūüĆĪ Composteren kun je leren! Met een wormenbak in je tuin, dak- of balkontuintje doe je dat namelijk gewoon lekker zelf. Op 8 februari maak je met slimme tips & tricks je eigen wormenhotel en word je hotelmanager van de kleinste hotelketen van Rotterdam!

ūüźõ HOTELMANAGER? Ja, echt. Naast dat je je eigen wormenhotel maakt, word je ook opgeleid tot rasechte manager.

Wat heb je nodig?

Voor dit wormenhotel heb je weinig nodig. Mayobakken, of andere horecabakken van 5 liter die goed op elkaar passen, een boormachine met een 2mm en 6mm boor, een stanleymes

Download de PDF

Boekje wormenhotel mayobakken

Rooftop Garden: the start of a seed

The rooftop of WdKA is located at the Blaak building site. The first ideas to start a rooftop garden came by the student from the SPIN Collective. This collective is a student lead climate group based at the Willem de Kooning Academy.  From June 7th until 11th we organised an elective in close collaboration with the SPIN Collective for 45 first and second year students from the Willem de Kooning. In this blog we share our program an some of the insight that we created and grew together. 
Rooftop gardens bring different cultures together in cities. Various initiatives in Rotterdam bring functions to these rooftops with music, plants, water storage and even living on a roof. But what are important functions for the rooftop garden of the WdKA? How do you want to grow this space and community, what do you as student would like this place to be? Through making future plans for this rooftop garden, we aim to make topics such as climate change, ecology, resilience and circularity become more tangible. 

But how to develop a space without experts? We invited scientists, makers and ecologists from our network to dive with us in the design of the space, the ecology of the city and future perspectives, literally from outer space. The students could pick one of the workshops offered by our experts, within this group they all came up with an idea for the rooftop garden, fed by ideas, actions and inspirations they got throughout the week.

Monday June 7th. 

The day started with a stunning blue sky and the warm shades of the sun. We invited our students on the rooftop for a morning meditation. Meditation will set the tone for your entire day and help you to be focused, content, and optimistic. Since the rooftop is currently surrounded by construction sites and the ventilation vent from the academy has its output on the rooftop we encouraged the students to become one with the space, the sounds, the temperature, the smells and each other. For many of them it was the first time being together after such a long period of isolation. Are you curious about the meditation text? You can read it here: Meditation

From soil to space

After the meditation we had an interesting talk from Dr.¬†Agata¬†KoŇāodziejczyk, a Polish¬†neurobiologist with a space mission. She obtained her doctorate at the University of Stockholm, co-founder of Space Garden and Analog Astronaut Training Center, the main originator and creator of¬†analog¬†bases for simulating space missions in Poland, organizer of 26 lunar and Martian¬†analog¬†space missions, mentor of 85¬†analog¬†astronauts. She worked at the European Space Agency in the Advanced Concepts Team in the Netherlands.

With an astonishing CV, Agata took the time to tell us how we can farm in space. How do you do that when you have a completely different atmosphere? What kind of smart systems can you build and control in order to produce a specific kind of food palette? Agata introduced us in the world of bioreactors, where you can grow food in a liquid state as well as vertical farm constructions that are being explored to feed our astronauts in space. And actually, to work at ESA you don’t have to be a rocket scientist, they actually do work with designers and artists in collaborational project.

Map the Seed

The girls from SPIN Collective prepared a workshop for the students. We asked them to bring a seed and explain why they brought it. Spin provided two working documents for the students to research their specific seed and from where it originates.






Tuesday 8th: Work the workshop: on safari in the big city

Tuesday was workshop day! But before diving into the vibrant green of our own city center of Rotterdam, we got a fantastic presentation by Dr. Bert van Duijn, physiologist and biophysicist and Chief Scientific Officer and legal representative (director) at Fytagoras in Leiden.

Fytagoras is a dynamic research company. It was founded in 2006 and stems from the TNO research department ‚ÄúApplied Plant Sciences‚ÄĚ. The name Fytagoras is a nod to the scientist Pythagoras and the Greek word phyto, which means plant.¬†Expertise from Fytagoras finds its way to breeding and seed companies, food and pharmaceuticals, and the horticultural sector. Spearheads are doubled haploid technology, seed technology, extraction technology, and horticultural knowledge of the root environment in particular.

Bert explained us how humans and plants are connected. They researched the behaviour, concentration and workflow of people surrounded ¬†by plants (from plant pictures, to plastic and real plants), for example in Coca Cola’s headquarter in Rotterdam, and the influence of plants in detention center to lower violence and aggressiveness.

In the afternoon the students could participate three workshops

  • Hypergarden by Jonathan Looman at the rooftop garden
  • Biodiversity walk by evolutionary biologist Menno Schilthuizen¬†in the city center of Rotterdam
  • Wildpick workshop by Gydo van der Wal from Buit: eetbare natuur.¬†at Brienenoord Eiland Rotterdam.
Hypergarden workshop
During the workshops, the students thought about the design of the rooftop. But in the first place about the function of a rooftop. Is it a place for wellbeing? To get together? To relax, to eat, or maybe to party? A place for educational programs or maybe all together? Together with Jonathan, they made tiny maquettes of the rooftop to visualise its potential. Jonathan Looman is a multi-disciplinary designer, teacher and entrepreneur. Driven by curiosity and always aiming for the best possible outcome. Motivated to break through conventions and define new strategies for our ever-changing reality. He also started the Hypergarden project, connected to the KbK in Den Haag. 











Biodiversity Walk by Menno Schilthuizen

Menno is an evolutionary biologist, writer and researcher connected to Naturalis Biodiversity Center in Leiden. He¬†holds a chair in evolution at Leiden University. His research deals with the diversification of groups of¬†closely-related¬†species, in land snails and beetles, and the questions of how and why different body-shapes evolve rapidly in such evolutionary ‚Äėradiations‚Äô.¬†

In a two hour walk from the entrance of Het Nieuwe Instituut the students see several examples of urban plants and animals that have adapted to urban conditions such as the urban heat island, fragmentation of the vegetation, exotic species, impervious surfaces, pollution, and many other ways in which the urban ecosystem is different from natural ecosystems. These adaptations often involve genetic changes, which means that these species are rapidly evolving under anthropogenic pressure: high-speed evolution in the Anthropocene! The observations will offer food for thought on how we can integrate the evolving urban ecosystem in the way we plan and develop our cities. 

Wildpick tour at Brienenoord Eiland

The last workshop was about our edible city.¬†Almost all of us do it without knowing it: everyone has picked blueberries or blackberries at some point. Let’s face it, isn’t it wonderful to be outside and pick your own food? We dived into the menu of Brienenoord Eiland, one of the city’s island located directly under the A16 highway. Cleavers, thistles, dandelions, garlic-without-garlic, hogweed, wild garlic, pentecost flower, reed, rapeseed and in this season elderflower, only a selection of edibles we have found during our walk.

When Gydo opened his beach pavilion, he first became acquainted with how our food system works. The finest ingredients were grown and caught nearby. But all these delicious products were largely exported. He changed that by giving local makers, farmers and fishermen a prominent place. They also supplied most of the ingredients for the menu. Local, fresh and very tasty! His interest in sustainability and our food was piqued! And everything you pay attention to grows: in the meantime he runs Noorderwind with two partners and we realize sustainable ideas for companies, governments and schools. With Buit he wants to inspire a large group of people to get started with wild picking. Eat what nature has to offer and therefore hyper local.


After the walk you will notice that you will consciously look at your surroundings. And who knows, just like me, you might see something edible growing on every street corner! – Emma


Along the way we collect the ingredients for a delicious wild pesto. Here’s a recipe and what you need.

Wednesday 9th of June: Ted Duijvestijn Tomatoes in Pijnacker

Through the workshop, the students got aquatinted with biodiversity, local food and all the other facets of designing a rooftop, but how are the ‘big guys’ producing for for us? As an extra workshop we visited friend farmer Ted Duijvestijn who runs his family company with his brothers only 20 minutes outside of the big city. In the heat of the city, between The Hague and Rotterdam surrounded by greenhouse we were welcomed by Ted.

For more than fifty years, Duijvestijn Tomaten has been growing high quality, delicious tomatoes with passion and pride. Sustainability and innovation have always been key motivational factors and are intrinsic elements of how they operate. They currently grow on nearly 25 hectares and produce about 17 million kilos of tomatoes every year.

Did you know The Netherlands is the second biggest tomato producer on the world? Only Mexico produces more tomatoes, not in greenhouses but in open fields. 

To reduce their energy consumption, as one of the first growers in the Netherlands, they decided to heat the greenhouses using geothermal energy. As a result, they use virtually no fossil fuels. This huge pipe pumps up geothermal heat from 4 kilometers deep. Thermal heat is ‘free’ and it is there. It is a state mine from the Dutch Government and therefore protected by a huge fence.

Another innovation is a vertical farming project. An ongoing research together with WUR is searching for new possibilities and innovations resulted in the start of the vertical farming project. This project involves researching different crops and growing methods.

They use bumblebees to naturally pollinate, these clever insects can communicate with each other.

Before tomatoes can start growing, the flowers on the tomato plant have to be pollinated. In the greenhouse, they use bumblebees for this purpose. The bumblebees live in special bee boxes spread strategically around the greenhouse. Just like honey bees, they collect pollen from the flowers. Why do we use bumblebees and not honey bees? Honey bees are used as pollinators with certain crops, for example many types of fruit trees. Their blossom is rich in nectar, so the bees stay close to this source. However, the flowers of tomatoes do not have a lot of nectar. The honey bees would quickly leave the greenhouse in search of richer food sources. And because bees communicate with each other, as soon as one leaves, the rest are likely to follow. Bumblebees are a little less clever and stay close to the food source. They are offered sugar water as a source of nutrition.


Would like to know more about how your tomato is farmed only 15 kilometers from Rotterdam? Visit the website. 


Thursday 10th of June: get back to the city farm

To get back from all this inspirational workshops the students were asked to think about a concept for the rooftop garden. Every page contributes to the Zine that is made in close collaboration with the SPIN Collective.

The Zine imagines the vision and mission of the rooftop garden through writings, visualisations, mappings, drawings ,actions, observations, activities to be organized by and for our students.

To have a final inspiration, we invited Iris Schutte, teacher at WdKA and two students from the Piet Zwart Institute. Kate Price and Yoeri Guépin to tell about their initiatives. 

EnergieKas by Iris Schutte

Iris Schutten initiates, develops, writes and teaches about transition in relation to art, design, architecture, public space and economy.

At the moment she develops EnergieKas ‚Äď a rooftop greenhouse that both generates energy and functions as a tropical community garden and testing ground for regenerative design. It it a prizewinning project selected for the Energiechallenge by the city counsel of The Hague, 2019.

It is situated on top of de Helena, a catalyst for art, city and society in transition. A self-initiated project in close collaboration with Erik de Jong (Morfis).

Other partners are Langebeesten Energiek, stichting De Helena, Groene Mol, Ruimtevaart, Billytown, Laboratory for Microclimates, Refunc, wijkorganisatie het oude Centrum and Collective Works.

Gardeningatthepiet by Kate Price and Yoeri Guépin

The Piet Zwart Institute MFA studio building located at Karel Doormanhof in central Rotterdam is fortunate to contain a large garden space which has been slowly established over the last few years. A site reflective of the people who have traversed the building, from eager concierges to passionate tutors and students, it has changed and grown to be a place of experimentation, knowledge exchanges and connection. Currently the students of the MFA program and artist/gardener Yoeri Guépin are working hard within the garden to replenish the soil and plant a diverse collection of fruits and vegetables, medicinal plants and rare heirlooms. Within their talk Yoeri and Kate detailed the activities that have been taking place in the garden and their collective plans for the future.

Friday 11th of June: Spin it Up! Zine workshop

Spin facilitated – in collaboration with the publication station – a Zine workshop. Every student participating made two A4 pages compiling¬†what they documented during the week or explaining what they learned ‚Äď the content of the page is up to each person as long as it’s connected to the elective. All the pages have been printed, which resulted in a large collection of ideas on the table where students collectively made their own made zine.

Are your curious what the students came up with? View the Zine here.

How to Biodesign Podcast audio recaps

With the meetup series How to Biodesign, BlueCity Lab provides a platform for and by bioneers (pioneers in biodesign). Broadcasted live from BlueCity Lab in Rotterdam, we dive into a new topic every month: from building with mycelium and wood to harvesting solar energy in a natural way. After 10 successful How to Biodesign meetups in 2020, BlueCity Lab is back with 10 new editions in 2021.

The climate and biodiversity crises ask for regenerative design of products, services and systems. With the How to Biodesign meetup series, BlueCity Lab offers a platform for and by bioniers (pioneers in biodesign). Emma van der Leest (founder of BlueCity Lab, biodesigner and author of the book Form Follows Organism) explores the possibilities of a systemic, regenerative approach to raw material flows in conversations with selected professionals from the field.

These monthly meetups facilitate interaction between experienced pioneers and those who want to get started with biodesign and biofabrication, offer a platform to share stories and experiences and to actively share knowledge, know-how and insights about biodesign practices with a wider audience.

Find all audio recaps on Spotify and see the upcoming How to Biodesign Evens here.



BlueCity – Circular Hub

Former swimming paradise Tropicana has developed as a place where all kinds of initiatives in the field of the circular economy come together: BlueCity.

Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences has created an environment in this striking building to offer study programs the opportunity to collaborate on circularity more easily. But it is also possible to rent a space for a meeting.

BlueCity focuses on the city of the future where living and working are central in a circular way. (Starting) entrepreneurs have the space here to implement new ideas, among other things by linking their residual flows. An ideal place for the university of applied sciences to sit in between.

In this way, the university of applied sciences creates a wonderful place to introduce students to circular thinking and working. In the past period, various training courses have collaborated on a project basis with BlueCity and the entrepreneurs established there. The WERKplaats Techniek and WERKplaats Nieuwe Bedrijfigheid of the Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences, in collaboration with the relevant study programs and the facility services (FIT), have further expanded the cooperation with BlueCity with the aim of creating a place where various disciplines can work together on circular and biobased issues.


The university of applied sciences has rented and furnished an (educational) space in the former swimming paradise where students and teachers can use lab facilities. Hilke Stibbe, project leader WERKplaats technology about these lab facilities: “The lab is suitable for all kinds of crossover applications where students can work with living organisms, the use of fungi, but also for the regular makerspace facilities that serve to create circular solutions. ”

BlueCity will thus become a practice-oriented learning environment where students and teachers come together on the theme of circularity within the economy and of materials and products. In this way, coordination between the various programs dealing with circularity and between Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences and BlueCity is facilitated. The collaboration is in line with the vision of the university of applied sciences to opt for satellite locations where the university of applied sciences can provide education for the students in a dynamic location.

BlueCity as a circular hub is a place where we want students to think about a meaningful future and where they learn to work on circular solutions for our city.


Teaching in BlueCity
The discoruimte is the classroom and circular hub of Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences
Hogeschool Rotterdam provides a space (for ¬Ī45 persons, ) students and teachers to help build a new, circular world. Do you want to reserve this space?

Space reservations
Space reservations are made through Naomi Luijkx. She takes care of planning and coordination with colleagues internally and contacts with BlueCity. You can email her via: BlueCity@hr.nl


Please let us know what your activity is, how long it takes and for how many people. We strive to make the space available as much as possible for several colleagues and students. It is therefore possible that there is also another group. If this is not desirable for your ‚Äėactivity‚Äô, please indicate this. Then, if possible, we do not plan anything next to your activity.

We have created an agenda for BlueCity in Outlook. Colleagues who (regularly) use the space have full access to the agenda. More information via BlueCity@hr.nl

Get in touch

Maasboulevard 100
3063 NS Rotterdam
info@bluecity.nl for general enquiries

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Podcast – exploring biodiversity in and around the academy

Part of our bioresearch is to investigate the knowledge in New Making Practices within the WdKA. Therefore we made a selection of tutors, workshop instructors, lectors and education staff that explore sustainability, inclusivity, wicked problems within the academy. How do we educate our pioneers in these fields? What do we need and what do they hope for to change within the academy.

Emma van der Leest interview with Nadine Mollenkamp

Ivan Henriques interview with Florian Cramer

Emma van der Leest interview with Carla Arcos

– soon to be published more –


Artists and designers shine new perspectives on utilizing and getting inspired by microorganisms, as tiny factories that operate as building blocks in our society. Bio-designers search for alternatives in the form of new bio-materials and implement them on a i.e. industry scale, which can lead our society to a different direction in how we ‚Äėdeal‚Äô with other specimens. Technology and the arts today evolve at great speed. The major crises that are happening in this world led these fields to have new ways to think and engage in different disciplines. These professionals created new links between them. Bio-artists raise questions about the same subject in new narratives, speculation of a future with metaphors, symbolic actions and sometimes, each time more, experimenting in lab facilities that expanded tremendously in the last two decades all over the world, including DIY and instructions about how to ‚Äėplay‚Äô with other organisms at home.

The field where art, design and science meet will become a platform for the creation of artefacts and bodies of knowledge, however, it is a paradoxical field. If we take the ‚Äėplant‚Äô as a subject, you can approach it from different angles, from its history, color, inter-relations with its surroundings, taste, form, etc. In one of the plant-communication angles, scientist Monica Gagliano from University of Sydney is establishing a communication with plants (which means the plant has a sort of ‚Äėintelligence‚Äô). At the same time the plants are the main food source that we humans and other specimens have, and also become a ‚Äėmaterial‚Äô explored further in the bio-design industry. In which role would a bio-artist or bio-designer approach it (the plant)? If the plant is considered an intelligent being, would it have any law protecting it as an intelligent life form?

The course will also investigate what kind of approach will be taken as bio-artist or designer in this field where organisms play different roles in our ecosystem, this will lead to the discussion of ethics: would the organisms have any law protecting their intelligent life form? All of these questions will lead to shape new ways of working and what it takes to work and collaborate with other life forms. Where we normally ‚Äėisolate‚Äô species from our surroundings, we may have to think about how we can work as a network, connected on different levels instead of isolated beings. With a better understanding of the surroundings and interplays between species, it could be the vector for the next approach to design a ‚Äėliving community‚Äô.

All the Living Stations are recent and under constant development.


Energy is everywhere and is in everything! We, humans, and all the other organisms, use energy to carry out complex tasks in our systems, and most of the energy in the world is processed from the sun, that works as a powerhouse. The plants which are the basis of the food web also use the sun, to transform light energy into chemical energy, an elemental part of the photosynthetic process. Energy is fundamental for our lifestyle as we can’t live without it in our homes and with the electronic equipment attached to us: (smart) watches, mobile phones, bike-lights, computers, etc). In the energy lab the student will have the opportunity to dive in this ever-growing discipline, from the basic to more complex ways of harvesting energy from their surroundings and the environment.

The rise in the demand to power the post-industrial, digital society, made us aware that the conventional natural resources that are used to power these industries are in limited supply. While they do occur naturally, it can take hundreds of thousands of years to replenish the ‚Äústores‚ÄĚ. While some places in the globe have the initiative to harvest energy from environment-friendly resources, some environmental accidents are happening on the other side of the planet, sometimes combined with the undervaluation of energy harvesting from minework, that are issues which ask awareness and action. To give an example think about these data centers and how much energy does these places expend to keep the ‚Äėcloud‚Äô working (the energy cost for being online). ¬†

All the Living Stations are still under construction.


background image: Kristof Kintera, We’ve Got the Power, 2003. 

About Living Stations

What are the Living Stations?
The Living Stations is the research platform connected to the stations within the Willem de Kooning Academy. Within the Living Stations we are questioning material practice within arts and design and investigate how to make and collaborate with ‘living’ and biological systems.

The idea of the living stations builds on the concept of the stations.
Stations are learning environments in which facilities and technologies are collected so that students are able to carry out there work and materialize their ideas. In addition, it is also a learning environment where research through making takes place.

Where the stations depart from certain technology, the living stations depart from a certain context and issue. The living stations want to be dynamic learning environments were students get introduced in certain matter, materials and technologies and are at the same challenged to respond to major societal issues.
The goal is to translate global complex issues – like ecological crisises – into tangible local (educational) challenges.

The living stations do not remain in the building of the WdKA but wants to step outside.
Collaboration is sought with other disciplines; colleagues from the Rotterdam School of Applied Sciences, scientist, local experts and entrepeneurs. We’ll seek for sustainable relations and collaborations through working together on local projects which matter.

The Living Stations are developing the following projects and programs;
Rooftop garden
The rooftop garden is initiated by the SPIN collective (students WdKA). The rooftop garden aims to be a student run space and become a place for; gardening, a place for well being, a place which supports eco-literacy and education which addresses climate change .

In collaboration with municipal companies and communities like BlueCity and colleagues from the Rotterdam School of Applied Sciences we would like to build upon the student initiative the trash bunker. The trash bunker is a place were students can exchange resources and where materials can be re-used. The trashbunker is run by student assistents.

The LivingLab
We are setting up an elementary, basic biolab where students get introduced into collaborating with living systems and get aquinted with topics regarding biophilic and regenerative design.
The plan is to collaborate closely with science partners, colleagues from the Rotterdam School of Applied Sciences and Bluecitylab. The Living Lab will open in September 2022

Fieldlabs – are temporary labs at different locations in the city of Rotterdam where we focus on very specific topics that matter; for example; water, air, energy, food, wind and waste streams

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
Why Living Stations?
The underlying ideas of the living stations were further developed by a new series of theoretical concepts; think of the so-called ‘Material Turn’ and the ideas surrounding post-humanism.

Within the The material turn the traditional divide between idea and matter is questioned and rejected as this has been established by Plato and Descartes. It also means to question and reject the divide between culture and nature.
And go towards new ecologies and forming new practices in thinking through matter and through material conditions.

So far, everything we make has been for the benefit of us humans. What does it mean to make when you don’t put people at the center of this process. In our (natural) human centered thinking, as artist and designers, we are depending on the technical appropriation of the material world. This appropriation is becoming more and more problematic and complex when things, algorithms, nature, animals; everything beside humans claim agency.

Current debates about climate change and decolonization have made us more aware of how everything is interconnected. This also means that we know that the technologies and/or materials we use in our practice do not stand alone. Technology is not neutral. This makes it necessary for us to take responsibility in education to think critically about which materials and technologies we use.

Technology is not neutral. We’re inside of what we make, and it’s inside of us.
We’re living in a world of connections Рand it matters which ones get made and unmade.
Donna J. Haraway

How do we educate ourselves and how can you help students make better ecological decisions?
The urgency lies for us, in the fact that we not only want want to think or talk about this issues – but want to build on a perspective for action.
Through research and practice we build on several (educational) projects and programs which aim to help our students to come up with new perspectives – instead of becoming paralyzed.
An important question for us is to learn how to investigate, materialize and visualize our ideas without exploiting others and the world. Within the living stations we want to explore what it means to make when you don’t put people at the center of this process.


– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
Who are involved in the Living Stations?

The Research Group is a dynamic platform and collective within WdKA that research and questions 21st century making practices led by Aldje van Meer, in collaboration with Emma van der Leest, Ivan Henriques, Nadine Möllenkamp and Brigit Lichtenegger. Together they develop the living station in close collaboration with tutors, instructors and students from the Willem de Kooning Academy and with their professional network. 

Aldje van Meer currently works as senior lecturer at the Willem de Kooning Academy, Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences. In this position she is teaching, researching and exploring technical innovations relevant for artistic professions. She advises, inspires and implements the use of technology in the curricula of the Willem de Kooning Academy. Within the stations she is coordinating professional development and supervising research (through making).

Emma van der Leest is graduated in 2015 with a bachelor’s degree (honours) from the Willem de Kooning Academy in Rotterdam. Form Follows Organism: The Biological Computer is the title of her research and book on biodesign and the shifting role of a designer working collaboratively with scientists. Throughout the years Emma has developed a number of different working materials. She is also the founder of BlueCity Lab, an experimental and prototyping laboratory in the former Tropicana water park in Rotterdam. Her goal is to lower the threshold for anyone interested in working with micro-organisms and waste streams in the development of new materials.

Ivan Henriques¬†is¬†an¬†artist, researcher¬†and¬†tutor at WDKA.¬†Henriques¬†works¬†in multimedia¬†installations¬†examining¬†living systems. He¬†explores¬†in his¬†works¬†hybrids¬†of nature¬†and¬†(technological) culture¬†creating¬†new¬†forms¬†of¬†communication¬†between¬†humans¬†and¬†other¬†living¬†organisms. He¬†considers¬†nature as¬†inspiration¬†and¬†a¬†necessary¬†factor in¬†the¬†development of¬†the¬†technological¬†world. Ivan¬†developed¬†the¬†interdisciplinary¬†group¬†Hybrid¬†Forms¬†Lab¬†and¬†directs¬†the¬†mobile¬†residency¬†program EME (Est√ļdio¬†M√≥vel¬†Experimental,¬†since¬†2008). His¬†works¬†are¬†exhibited¬†internationally,¬†participating¬†in festivals,¬†residencies¬†and¬†talks.


background image: Tom√°s Saraceno, ALGO-R(H)I(Y)THMS, 2009.

Christina Agapakis: What Happens When Biology Becomes Technology?

In her art and scientific work, Christina Agapakis blurs the boundaries between nature and technology to practice a new kind of engineering, taking into account both human and cultural forces.

“We’ve been promised a future of chrome — but what if the future is fleshy?” asks biological designer Christina Agapakis. In this awe-inspiring talk, Agapakis details her work in synthetic biology — a multidisciplinary area of research that pokes holes in the line between what’s natural and artificial — and shares how breaking down the boundaries between science, society, nature and technology can lead us to imagine different possible futures.

Why you should listen

In the lab, Christina Agapakis has worked on enzymes involved in the production of biofuels and mapped the evolution of microbial communities in the soil. As an artist, she’s isolated halophilic bacteria from California’s Salton Sea and made cheese from bacteria living on human skin.

As creative director of the biotech firm Ginkgo Bioworks, Agapakis works to establish more open, equitable and renewable technologies.