Look out, polyester. Here appear the eco-friendly, recyclable, amoebic fabrics of the future.
Marilyn Zimmerman, a Fine Art above in Studio Art and Experimental Art and Technology at The University of New Mexico, afresh alternate about in the BioDesign Challenge Summit 2021 to present a activity alleged FutureFabric. She, forth with adolescent acceptance Jose Orosco and Jennifer Valdez, advised the activity beneath the administration of Andrea Polli , administrator of STEAM NM with accessories in the College of Fine Arts and School of Engineering at the University of New Mexico. Polli holds the Mesa Del Sol Endowed Chair of Digital Media and directs the Social Media Workgroup.
Orosco did illustrations for the SCOBY biofabric recipes. Valdez did a fractional web architecture and assignment plan awning sheets.
“The BioDesign Challenge highlights the best avant-garde and agitative projects created by acceptance internationally anniversary year. This year, the FutureFabric activity was called by a board of adroitness experts beyond disciplines to represent UNM in the BDC,” Polli said. This was the third time UNM has participated. “We are actual appreciative that are acceptance are a allotment of this important accident attractive appear the approaching of biodesign application nature-inspired solutions to all-around health, sustainability, and aegis challenges.”
In addition, UNM has afresh accustomed a VentureWell admission to advance the biodesign accessories on campus and to actualize a Southwest Biodesign Hub, Polli said, adding, “We attending advanced to allowance to accompany calm the biodesign association in our region.”
The FutureFabric activity ̶ which is still in the abstraction stages ̶ is advised as a aperture to acquaint new groups of bodies to the science and art of biofabric, Zimmerman explained. Biofabrics are abstracts developed from alive organisms, such as bacteria, yeast, algae, and fungi. The microorganisms can be advised to aftermath abstracts are agnate to yarn, or developed in a mold, or shaped into abstracts to be harvested. Artists, ecologists, and scientists are experimenting with aliment products, biodegradable packaging, accouterment and cosmetics, to name a few examples.
Many aerial end appearance houses accept a bio bolt band of goods. Designers such as Stella McCartney are designing with biofabrics. Suzanne Lee is able-bodied accepted as a avant-garde in the acreage of biofabrics and Zimmerman recommends her TED Talk about growing a kombucha-based actual that can be acclimated to accomplish clothing.
Biofabrics are petroleum-free and biodegradable and advised acceptable back they do not crave all-encompassing acreage usage, don’t crave pesticides, and don’t charge chemicals or ample amounts of baptize for processing. In contrast, Zimmerman acicular out, it takes 700 gallons of baptize to accomplish a affection shirt, a whopping 2,600 gallons to accomplish a brace of jeans, 101 gallons of baptize to action a batter of wool, and 2,110 gallons of baptize for one brace of covering shoes.
Zimmerman was aboriginal aggressive back the UNM BioArt advance alien modules for growing bacilli on agar in petri dishes, followed by modules for advance average experiments.
“Since UNM was afterward COVID protocols, the labs were not accessible as usual. I absitively to accept a accurate agreement that could be activated in an calm lab application readily accessible materials. Back I saw how agitative the action and after-effects were I accomplished how important it was to allotment the concept,” she enthused.
The first basic of the FutureFabric activity is educational affairs to advise the art and science of biofabrics; the additional is developing a website as a hub for inspiration, discussions, and administration of account on all-embracing level; and the third is continuing to absolute calm biofabric lab experiments, architecture on the success of antecedent experiments. Zimmerman has developed a worksheet for kids and adults to agreement at home to accomplish their own biofabric from tea, sugar, water, and kombucha amateur accepted as SCOBY (Symbiotic Culture of Bacilli & Yeast). After growing in a warm, aphotic abode for two to three weeks, a artificial mat floats to the top of the mixture. After it is broiled in the sunlight the mat can be acclimated as a biofabric. Another biofabric action involves mycelium from mushrooms.
“If biofabrics are to become allotment of our approaching world, acceptance charge to be alien to these aberrant abstracts aboriginal in their lives. Whether acceptance are abreast consumers or advance into beat designers, they charge to be not alone accustomed with the backdrop of biofabrics, but to advance the science forward,” Zimmerman said.
Participating in the basic BioDesign Challenge Summit “was a alone opportunity,” Zimmerman said. She got to appearance presentations of 51 teams from celebrated institutions about the world, participate in a arcade accident that gave her the befalling to allege with added acceptance and the board to allotment advice and ideas, and accommodated the board to apprentice added about their classes or art projects.
“All of the presentations were able-bodied advised and presented with activity and sincerity. Experiencing the advantage of presenting FutureFabric to an interested, auspicious admirers of aeon and professionals, I would accept to say that the adventure was actual rewarding,” Zimmerman said, adding, “Speaking of journeys, the framework that the UNM BioArt accomplished by Andrea Polli provided a antithesis of advice with an befalling for discovery. As a Fine Art above this advance opened a new apple of art accumulated with science and ecology.”
Now that the BioDesign Challenge is over, Zimmerman affairs to abide to advance the website and assignment on the mycelium experiments. In addition, she’s alive via Zoom with some Dharamshala, India designers to alpha a alternation of biofabric workshops.
“For my own art work, I’m alive on conductive SCOBY and mycelium abstracts for a alternation of wearable electronics,” she concluded.
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