Every day 22 people die because they did not receive a transplant organ on time only in the US. That makes over 8000 preventable deaths a year and causes a billion dollar illegal organ trading business. Because of the surprising similarities between human and plant scaffold structures, this project explores the use of plant tissue for tissue engineering and transplantation into the human body. The method of decellularization literally washes out the plant cells, leaving a scaffold where human cells stem cells can grow. The material exploration of plant tissue results in an archive of 100 different decellularized species and a collaboration with scientists to analyse the different structures for the different body parts. Vascular structures can be used for soft tissue, such as organs, while linear structures can be found in bone or muscle tissue. Using plants for tissue engineering is an inexpensive and always available alternative, guarantees an even distribution of nutrition, eliminates the problem of transplant rejection and doesn’t bring ethical challenges in compare to using animal organs. Its the mass solution we are looking for. As soon as we will be able to cross kingdoms and the first human is living with a transplanted plant tissue, we evolve us, the human species, to the Homo Ectosymbiont
Angela Mathis is a London based multidisciplinary designer, pushing the boundaries of materials, technology and scientific practices, to impact future designs. All that matters in her opinion is the right use of materials. To her it is about responsibly leading the future way in a rapidly evolving world.
The UK government wants to privatise the National Health Service. By offering external private companies the opportunity to take contracts and manage key healthcare services within the NHS, we are slowly seeing the NHS turn from an entirely publicly funded institution to a more privatized model. Undermining and weakening the NHS means that basic health care services in the UK face a very uncertain future. If the NHS is to become fully privatized, people will be denied free health care and will have to begin contributing or paying for key health services or long-term insurance policies. Each year around 700,000 babies are born in the UK. An uncomplicated birth in the UK costs the NHS £3,000 pounds. If the NHS collapsed, and there was no state support to help cover these expenses, as is the case in many other countries, what would this mean for people who have no other alternative but to give birth completely independently at home? ‘Independent Labour’ explores this future scenario and creates an alternative by providing a Birth Box with all the instruments and instructions you need to fully prepare and give birth unaided at home.
Anne Vaandrager considers herself as a Design Activist. Her work is based on in-depth research that focuses on social shortcomings and inequalities in society. Her interactive body of work, primarily consisting of design artifacts, is mainly inspired by low-tech and DIY culture.
With advancements in technology, it is now possible to measure human emotions with numerical accuracy. This project explores the likely implications of this on our interpersonal relationships based on current dating trends. If programmers can find love by hacking into a dating site, can science tell you what is the most emotionally arousing face for you? Will it look like your partner’s? Sibling’s? Parent’s? Could he/she be the one? And finally, what would the number one emotionally arousing face be for the entire city, the country and the whole world? All with numerical accuracy…
Bolor Amgalan is an experimental interdisciplinary designer exploring materiality at the intersection of digital and physical, as well as natural and synthetic. She started out as a zero-waste fashion designer and later developed her practice further using speculative design narratives with the aid of programming at Central Saint Martins.
We have the responsibility to deal with human-induced climate change. One proposed controversial method of dealing with our impact is a highly man-driven technological approach: climate engineering. Climate engineering is the deliberate intervention in the climate system to cool down the Earth. One way of doing this is reflecting sunlight back into space. Scientists see this as ‘Plan B’ when other attempts of fighting global warming have failed.
In her project she uses design as a communicative tool. By simulating the scientific complexity, she informs the public about climate engineering: a risky but realistic future.
Britt Berden is a designer with a keen interest in visualizing concepts that forecast ideas and encourage long-term thinking. In my work I question socio-cultural, ethical and environmental issues and enjoy being the communicator between issues relating to science, anthropology and design.
The subject of humanness and achieving human comfort in space has been overlooked by science. Humanising space needs to be addressed and given attention and research in order for humans to live well in long-term space colonisation. My position on space travel is neither the picture painted by NASA and SPACEX, nor is it the adventures of Barbarella, it is the grey area of space, the overlooked day-to-day life of humanity that I believe to be of importance. Why can’t living in space be purposeful and fulfilling but also enjoyable, pleasurable, and sensuous?
Christine Lew is a multidisciplinary designer exploring materiality at the intersection of science, technology and craft. Her background in material science and fashion led her to further develop her practice at Central Saint Martins’ Material Futures Program. She is currently investigating future interplanetary living and hopes to explore Mars one day.
Open Garden initially launched as a service to act as basic platform structure to enable urban gardeners to open gardens in their homes and on public land. The project explores how we may maximise green space through open source design and social engagement. A digital geotagging network app is there to act as virtual connection between communities, and offers Open Source Design Plans for personal and public planting structures. In this add-on series I explore new open source furniture pieces that directly integrate plant life. This series is specifically focused on micro-living and flat pack furniture, to customise with a durable and water-resistant material.
Florian Wegenast is an experimental industrial designer exploring and designing for a better relationship with our planet. His work focuses on open and sustainable design that does not just affect how we consume, but how it could affect every-day social behaviour. His hands-on work approach leads him to explore various materialities around objects and ultimately is in search for a more sustainable future.
Plasma gasification is a pioneering new technology whereby any known material from the landfill can be heated to such a temperature that it renders all known substances to Plasma Rock and gas. Within the industry they are primarily concerned with the utilization of the waste gas for use in the energy industry, converting it from something highly toxic to something that could be a viable (and valuable) alternative to fossil fuels and natural gas. However, I am interested in the waste Plasma Rock that is produced as a result. This Plasma Rock currently has no real viable commercial value or application, despite it being completely non-toxic and the potential for it being produced on amass scale in the future. Through my project, I looked at historical coastal landfill sites, and specifically the one in East Tilbury. These sites are viewed by scientists as ticking time bombs. With the land being eroded away and the sea levels rising quickly, we have no idea what is in these landfills and are currently doing nothing to stop them from eroding and eventually leaching into the sea. By finding ways of utilizing this prolific future raw material, I hope to not only divert these potentially dangerous materials from polluting the sea but also to develop a new localized craft process that in itself could become a viable alternative to other more environmentally un-friendly processes/materials. Through my objects, I hope to not only communicate the rich historical, industrial and cultural heritage of this specific area, but also raise awareness of the devastating effects that ignoring these landfills could have in the future.
Inge Sluis is a conceptual and material designer who believes in the combinations of crafts, materials, technology and social questions.
An exploration of technology’s impact on human behaviour and health through sleep. How can we optimise our future sleep? In recent years, the link between the brain and sleep has become increasingly evident. Researchers have coined the “glymphatic system” as the brain’s garbage disposal, removing all the toxins that have built up throughout the day. When sleep is deprived or even disturbed, the glymphatic system does not have time to perform its function and toxins build up which could lead to neurodegenerative diseases.With these health implications realised, the rise of technology and ease of travel across different time zones, what does this mean for our body’s natural rhythms as well as our longer term health?In this project, I have created a system of products that encourage mindful breathing rituals based on pranayama technique that I hope will become a viable alternative to staring at our phones and laptops before going to sleep. These objects are designed to be functional as they are sculptural, encouraging you to wind down through simple and short sensory experiences that t into our night time routine through scent and light. These objects are also able to technologically track our sleeping patterns and adapt the environment in the room around us to suit our unconscious needs, lowering the radiator temperature, changing the light levels as well as emitting speci c scents that promote mindfulness and optimise our sleep.
Lena Saleh is a Designer and Researcher focused on the symbiotic relationship between technology and health. She delves into routines of culture and societal pressures surrounding technology and user. Her background includes co-starting a skincare range, Skinvolve.
What could be the long-term impact of mining space?
Space mining is a reality we may face not within decades, but within years. In 2015, the U.S.A signed the « SPACE Act » enabled private companies of its country to access, process, and commercialize resources that they extract from Space. Luxembourg’s parliament also passed a law last August 2017, to offer legal certainty that “space resources are capable of being appropriated” by asteroid mining companies. The Moon will be the first target. This earth satellite has highly valuable materials that could be commercialised in Space such as water, platinum or Helium3, a highly powerful source of energy. Space mining companies affirm their ambition to transform the Moon into a «gas station in the sky» promising unlimited resources for the future of humanity. Scramble for the Moon is a speculative and critical design project that question those “ready-made” dreams created by the space mining industry. The aim is to understand what are the real motivations behind and interrogate our destructive systems of exploitation and colonisation. I collaborated with experts in planetary science to visualise what are the materials on the Moon, what could they be used for and where exactly they are located. Based on those data, I created a visual of how the Moon might look like in a future where a private company has monopolised most of the lunar resources.
Margaux Hendriksen is a material explorer and creative designer, based in London. She investigates unknown worlds where new ideas are shaped and engage in a variety of future application. Her interest and knowledge within the fields of science, social anthropology and craftsmanship helps her to build hybrid and sensitive approaches.
Humix (human monoprotic acid experience) is a collection of mechanically controlled frames that combine sensors, motors and sound generators to emulate a human sneeze when the air quality is below the safe levels as recommended by scientists and the World Health Organisation. This machine can be embedded into walls, corners and entryways of buildings in order to communicate this environmental information to an unsuspecting everyday public.
Montana Feiger is a London-based designer who started her journey in the wonderful city of San Francisco. With a passion for materiality, places and spaces, her work revolves around environmental awareness and the future of the built environment.
This project aims to forecast plant evolution in a polluted, post-human and post-Anthropocene world. Human activities are critically endangering our natural ecosystems and biological way of life. Through my project, I want to observe, understand and imagine how nature will react to a post-human existence. From the mass production of plastics to a potential nuclear war, this project aims to predict the most significant actions of humans in the future and the associated impact that such actions would have on the evolution of the living world around us. The project, much like an early evolutionary botanical study of plants in the past, is meant as a way of communicating how real plant species will adapt, survive and flourish in a more toxic and extreme environment in the future. By a study of a dark future we could help plants survive with adapted modifications in the present.
Pauline Roques is a French London-based material designer and researcher with a passion for our natural world and its evolution. Drawing upon these inquires and predictions her vision is to use this knowledge to create progress in materials and technologies. Her influences growing up in Toulouse on her father’s family farm and with her mother botanical/scientific insight led her to question humanities understanding of nature.