GLIMPS - Fabrication Bootcamp - Workshop 2019 - PROJECTS


Chapter 01

Research Phase – Project Bio materials workshop Glimps


My name is Astrid Venlet. This is my very first post on this blog.

My fellow mates and I whom I started this workshop with a few weeks ago will be sharing our thoughts, questions, experiments and it’s outcomes on this blog the next few weeks.

Each of us with a different project.

Mine started off by dropping all my newly received glass jars filled with scobies, mushrooms, mycelium on the floor off a train station. Unlucky event. Meanwhile many people were wondering what all these strange looking things scattered on the floor were.
Where do you start to explain :slight_smile:

After our introduction weekend with Glimps, lots of questions arose and also a healthy dose of curiosity about the current state of innovative ecological and sustainable materials in the world. What has been done, and how can we build on this, improve it.

So now I find myself submerged in this new world of materials and biology. Realizing I know so little about the materials, organisms, bacteria,… which we are surrounded by everyday. I currently have 50 tabs open on my internet browser, eager to learn more and more. Every website leads to another…

Suddenly I see the potential of new materials everywhere I go.

While researching the world off new bio materials also made me realize society, design and architecture is still in the “Walkman phase”.

The game changing solutions which are being discovered, needs to go hand in hand with people’s evolving relation - physically and mentally - to these new materials, products, houses, food,. in order to create awareness and thus real change.

This is where my projects starts. How can I help as a designer with the transmission of getting accustomed to these wonderful new materials, see their beauty and their own material properties.

How can I help as a designer to shift values by making people wonder about bio materials. This will include a whole new way of approaching design, it’s functionality, aesthetics and life expectancy of the objects we are surrounded with.

Why do we create products that will outlive us all? Why don’t they degrade slowly like we will eventually do? Because how do we deal with the amount of stuff, products, buildings, furniture that comes along with each person born on this planet.

I would like to use these questions to create a concept or a product which is tangible and recognizable so people slowly get accustomed to these new bio materials.

So my final goal would be to create objects that people (could) can relate too. In playful, recognizable shapes, and with a poetic twist. In order to give people a better understanding of the bio material world and motivates them to think differently when they buy furniture. This to create a more healthy, harmonious, sustainable, ecological world.

Thoughts, ideas always welcome!


I like the questions you ask, @AstridVenlet ! Society today has a tendency to focus on maximizing material performance (and the related financial model) whereas we might have to rethink completely how we relate to objects and materials…

Also, might I add, you already made some beautiful pictures of material prototypes of yours here :slight_smile:
–> Biofab bootcamp - bioplastic experiments

There’s many people around here who have been working for years with biomaterials, both in research and in design. What would you ask them in order to share your own