What if we could enable others to see bacteria as a carrier of meaning, rather than a carrier of disease?

A biomaterial revolution

Textiles, wood, plastic, glass, paper–these are the kinds of materials we’re used to seeing in our homes and on our clothes. But new types of experimental materials are coming, and they’re made of something that sounds grosser than it is: bacteria. Designers are collaborating intensively with scientists to harness the unique qualities of bacteria to create new materials and processes – some of which may represent a viable alternative to conventional synthetic and energy intensive materials.
The relationship between humans and bacteria is ancient, but this is a moment of diversion from fossil-fuel-based materials, and an increased awareness and receptivity to living ones: it’s a biomaterial revolution.

A new generation of creatives dedicate their work to biomaterials, teaching us that bacteria and other microorganisms have huge applications in changing the way we create raw materials for design. Here’s some examples:




Finding beauty in the accidental complexity of micro organisms is central to the color palette’s message. Organic and epidermal colors dialogue in subtle ways with bright chromatic accents creating an unprecedented perceptual disorientation.
A closer look at the Bac(ma)terials palette reveals a fascinating interplay of brightness and saturation values. In this analysis we explore relationships and proportions of the different hues.



The bacteria-based materials have unique and unexpected qualities. Understanding their potential is the fi rst step to envision scenarios for the future of textiles, plastics, leathers and many others materials.



The inspirations from the microcellular world of viruses and bacteria provide a huge creative potential in the development of graphics and patterns. It’s like thinking of seeing the world through a microscope.


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