We face an important challenge in making architecture more sustainable. Research by the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) shows that numerous public buildings, including schools, experience problems related to air quality. Technical installations can help, though an effective use of existing micro-ecosystems can offers a much larger potential for the future. This is because healthy and sustainable interiors function as living ecosystems in balance. How can we design interiors as ecosystems?

The research project “Living Aero Bacterial Systems” (LABS) by Studio Samira Boon, i.c.w. the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU) and Waag Society, develops a new material to improve our interiors with natural processes: a kombucha-based textile that enhances the air quality by integrating mosses and green plants. The resulting material can be applied in acoustic and wall panels.

With LABS we take a step towards living interiors of the future. We envision that our future ecosystems will be a fruitful interaction between users, technology and microorganisms. This is a paradigm shift in the traditional design process. Through the development of innovative materials and applications, LABS aims to demonstrate the opportunities of this paradigm shift to potential clients, policy makers, and fellow researchers/designers.

LABS is a collaboration between Studio Samira Boon and the Frese Lab for applied Photosynthesis, the Hybrid Forms Lab of the VU Amsterdam and the Textiellab and WetLab of the Waag. The project is funded by the Grant Programme Architecture of the Creative Industries Fund NL.

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