MA Material Futures, Winner, 2021
BacTerra is a project proposing the use of bacteria to create alternative ceramics that are self-fired and biologically glazed. By providing a making process where ceramic waste and living organisms are my main ingredients, I hope to start a conversation about the promising possibilities of biotechnology within pottery.
Pottery is a universal craft that has endured for thousands of years. But while people have mastered this craft and optimised the material, its production method has remained relatively unchanged. It’s currently seeing a huge surge in popularity as a creative and harmless escape from the stresses of contemporary life. But if we unpick every aspect of ceramics, we identify quite a few problematic areas. One of them is the energy-consuming and carbon-heavy kiln-firing process. What if we could find alternative ways of creating ceramics: ceramics that don’t require kiln firing; ceramics made by living organisms and biological processes?
Industrial biotechnology has the potential to address some of the world’s most significant challenges, such as creating alternative materials that are more environmentally friendly. The potential is enormous.
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