FDMCI Learning Communities

Biomaterials Teaching Toolkit A teaching resource for critical materials research

Materials can help to expose the cracks of our ailing systems; because they have the power to solidify new norms; because they can make more preferable futures tangible.

– Liz Corbin, materials researcher & designer

This is a teaching toolkit for critical materials research developed for educators in higher design and arts education. It comes out of a 2-year project funded by the NRO Comenius Teaching Fellowship program at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences. The project invited a group of design educators and/or researchers to develop ways to help third year bachelor students explore making practices that center ecosystems rather than human systems. With this toolkit, we share our tried and tested activities, which take bio-based design materials and their unique properties as a point of departure, and offer hands-on activities to critically engage in sustainable material research.

Materials are all around us, and therefor easy to ignore. Our attitudes to materials shape the way we think, imagine and create things and identities. This toolkit will provide you ways to see materials anew, by learning more about them, exploring alternatives, or altogether defamiliarising ourselves from what we think materials can and should do.

A critical, transdisciplinary approach to (material) making

The activities described in these cards invite learners to draw together insights from material science, industrial manufacturing, microbiology, material culture, design and arts as well as ancient crafts practices. Creating “new” natural materials here refers less to inventing novelty materials or being a contemporary nano-alchemist or genetic engineer. It refers to a new way of looking at materials that share a common characteristic: they are created from feedstocks that were once alive and regenerative. And more radically: some are biomanufactured by leveraging living systems without killing those living systems at all, instead enveloping them into making processes without depleting or destroying them. This toolkit helps you explore natural materials and growth processes in a hands-on way, while asking questions that unsettle what everyday human-made objects look and feel like, and the creative strategies, manufacturing processes and social and ecological systems involved in creating them.

A limited edition of the printed toolkit is available. Please contact Sam Edens s.j.edens@hva.nl if you are interested in the card set. The content is available online via our Github repository, where the files can be downloaded for print as well: https://github.com/loesjebo/biomaterials_toolkit

Authors: Loes Bogers & Sam Edens

Contributions by: Micky van Zeijl, Ista Boszhard and Cecilia Raspanti

Partner: Textilelab Amsterdam - Waag

Funded by NRO Comenius Teaching Fellowship for educational innovation, awarded to Loes Bogers in 2020. See also: https://www.hva.nl/fdmcilearningcommunities/gedeelde-content/projecten/critical-making--research-through-design/open-source-material-archive-for-transdisciplinary-and-critical-creative-research.html?origin=Crxi2mJpTsqgNGDI0qxagw

Gepubliceerd door  Faculteit Digitale Media en Creatieve Industrie geen open dag meer

Publicatiedatum

Auteur(s)

Loes Bogers & Sam Edens