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Video reveals BioArt Laboratories showcase at Dutch Design Week

Reef structures made from human ashes and accessories created from fermented vegan leather feature in this video by Dezeen for Dutch Design Week of the BioArt Laboratories exhibition.

Taking place in Eindhoven, the exhibition brought together a diverse range of projects exploring biotechnology, sustainability and human's relationship with nature.


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The video showcases projects at BioArt Laboratories

Projects featured in the exhibition include Resting Reef by Aura Murillo and Louise Skajem. Described as "a sustainable death care service", Resting Reef would see loved one's ashes transformed into oceanic reef structures.

The design start-up created a method in which human ashes are combined with crushed shells to create an organic material base.

Resting Reef sees human ashes and crushed shells transformed into oceanic reef structures

This formula would then be 3D-printed into a custom reef culture, which would be installed in a selected marine site to encourage new growth of marine life and habitats.

Designers Murillo and Skajem wanted to address the unsustainable nature of modern Western burial practices, which often use highly toxic chemicals that leach into earth and water sources.

MycoPunk fabric is made of fermented bacterial cellulose to create a vegan leather alternative

Another project in the exhibition was MycoPunk by designers Poorva Shrivastava and Clara Degez, who introduced a vegan leather alternative created from fermented bacteria.

The duo created a material and method that could be easily shared and reproduced, envisioning a future where people can create what they need themselves, rather than relying on consumer culture.

The fabric was made of a sheet of fermented bacterial cellulose, which was coloured with natural dyes and coated with plant oils to give it water-repellent properties. The plant leather was used by the designers to create wallets, purses and lampshades.

Visitors could take samples of the fermented culturing liquid used in the process to conduct their own experiments at home.

Soil Symphany is a kinetic art installation highlighting the issue of soil degradation

Environmental artist Theo Rekelhof created a kinetic art installation called Soil Symphony, which investigated the damaging effects of monoculture.

The installation was created in response to the increasing issue of soil degradation, where there is a decline in soil quality and nutrients usually caused by harmful agriculture practices.

According to the UN, all of the world's topsoil could become unproductive within 60 years if current rates of loss were to continue.

The kinetic sculpture was made up of spinning records that were topped with wooden cut-outs of plants, while broken pieces of speaker equipment were suspended by wires from a supporting frame.

Segments of the record's music were stuck in repetition and became more distorted as the record scratch deepened.

Using the metaphor of scratched records stuck on repeat, Rekelhof wanted to show the absurd and damaging effects of modern agriculture practices on the landscape.

Other projects featured in the exhibition include Fungal Wars, a mycelium-based combat tournament

The BioArts Laboratories exhibition is open to the public until 29 October as part of Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven.

This video is part of a series of reels Dezeen is producing during the design week, highlighting the best projects from the design fair.

Dutch Design Week 2023 takes place from 21 to 29 October in Eindhoven. See Dezeen Events Guide for information about the many other exhibitions, installations and talks taking place throughout the week.

Partnership content

This video was produced by Dezeen for Dutch Design Foundation as part of a partnership. Find out more about Dezeen partnership content here.