2015 National Mature Media Award WINNER

2015 National Mature Media Award WINNER
The Creative Landscape of Aging Wins a NMMA Award!

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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

DESIGNING WITH MICROBIOLOGY: Creative Explorations

Sequins. Leather. Wool. Lace. Cotton. Ribbon. Linen. Engineered human tissue.....

Yes, Amy Congdon from the UK is just as much a hybrid personality as her decorative human tissue product. She utilizes her sensitivities and skills as both a designer and researcher to achieve an unusual element that is grown in the lab and can be tweaked for example to be water repellent or contain specific colors. You can apply it almost like a three dimensional tattoo but with a special eeriness to it. Amazing to see how it attaches and also suspends from part of the body and of course it is actually lab grown and designed tissue.

Out of the lab and into the gallery space, UK designer Anna Dumitriu, has been creating bioart based on looking for bacteria that exists (mostly innocuously) all around us.  "They are such a rich vein of artistic inspiration," she says. "Everywhere you look, there are bacteria and other microorganisms, even if you can't see them." (http://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/artist-dyes-clothes-quilts-tuberculosis-and-staph-bacteria-180949511/?no-ist).  Her art examples include Bed and Chair Flora” which use bacteria images cultured initially from the object and then recreated in an elaborate collaborative crochet project based on transmission of  electron microscope images of bacteria from the artist’s own bed. There is also “Lab Coat Flora” which is a hand stitched white on white lab coat embroidered with images of the bacteria and molds that were cultured from it and “Cutlery Flora” that is a set of knives, forks and spoons which are laser engraved with images of the bacteria that Dumitriu cultured from clean cutlery in her kitchen drawer.


And now for fashion. 

Roger Freeman uses microscopic designs printed from deadly diseases for his unique ties. His business, Infectious Awareables has customers excited about buying prints with the deadly anthrax although other options include scarves for the women with an ebola print, heart health or other unusual pattern replications. Each product comes with a note explaining the pathology of the microbe which it makes it even more intereting. Roger, a retired dentist, started this business after he was gifted a herpes tie and now 15 years later he has merged with Wild Attire, inc.

How about custom fabric, wallpaper or gift wrap? At Spoonflower, you can select from a multitude of microbial patterns, decide on the coloration and then choose your product. There are variations within each product group so the customization process is excellent.

There is so much around us that is not visible and yet incredibly beautiful from a design perspective.

Enjoy considering the possibilities.