The Future of Living Materials

  • TALK

More and more designers are actively exploring the possibilities of new kinds of materials for applications in the fields of fashion, textile and design. In order to transition into a more regenerative future society, it is essential to design with a purpose, to create ‘innovation inspired by nature’. The project The Future of Living Materials explores the future of living materials for a more regenerative society and fashion system. In a lab-like context, scientists of Wageningen University & Research, fashion and product designers and researchers from ArtEZ Future Makers collaborate to develop new kinds of materials and possible applications.


Research from an art & design perspective (ArtEZ)
By: Nishant Shah

Research from a scientific perspective (WUR)
By: Kim Poldner

The Future of Living Materials: theory & methods
By: Daniëlle Bruggeman & Jeroen van den Eijnde

Living Colours: dying textiles with pigment producing bacteria
By: Laura Luchtman & Ilfa Siebenhaar

Living Materials: Designing with micro-bacteria
By: Emma van der Leest


Jorn Konijn

Jorn Konijn is a writer and curator of international architecture and design events. Since September 2017 he works as senior project manager for the professorship E||scape (for product design & interior architecture) and Future Makers of ArtEZ University of the Arts.

Nishant Shah

Nishant Shah

Dr. Nishant Shah is the Dean of the Graduate School at ArtEZ University of the Arts, The Netherlands and a Senior Research fellow in culture and aesthetics of digital media at Leuphana University, Germany. He was the co-founder and former research director of the Centre for Internet & Society in India, and his work has been committed to building infrastructure and discourse around social justice, identity politics, and digital cultures.

Kim-WUR profiel

Kim Poldner

Kim is Professor of Entrepreneurship at Wageningen University & Research (WUR), where she leads the Circular Fashion Lab. Through bringing together scientists and designers, Circular Fashion @WUR contributes to the creation of new ‘categories’ of materials previously unknown in the fashion industry, disruptive technologies that re-define textile supply-chains and inspired processes of organizing that turn competitors into comparables.

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Jeroen van den Eijnde

Jeroen van den Eijnde is Professor at ArtEZ University of the Arts. he leads ArtEZ Centre of Expertise Future Makers, with research and innovation projects in the field of textile, fashion and (interior) design that contribute to a spring resilience, sustainable future and a just, inclusive and diverse society. Future Makers connects creative thinkers and makers to scientific and practical research in collaboration with universities, research centres, companies and public institutions.


Daniëlle Bruggeman

Daniëlle Bruggeman is Professor of Fashion at ArtEZ University of the Arts. She teaches at both the MA Fashion Strategy and the MA Fashion Design at ArtEZ, and leads the Centre of Expertise Future Makers in collaboration with dr. Jeroen van den Eijnde. The Fashion Professorship aims to develop critical theories and practices in order to explore, better understand, and rethink the cracks in the fashion system.

Laura Luchtman

Laura Luchtman

Laura Luchtman is textile designer. She is exploring ways to let living bacteria create colour in order to dye textiles in a sustainable way as an alternative to the traditional, chemical dyeing methods in the fashion industry. Laura is a Textile & Surface Designer and works from her design studio Kukka. She has 10 years of experience in designing collections for well-known high street fashion brands.

Ilfa Siebenhaar

Ilfa Siebenhaar

Ilfa Siebenhaar is textile designer. She is exploring ways to let living bacteria create colour in order to dye textiles in a sustainable way as an alternative to the traditional, chemical dyeing methods in the fashion industry. Ilfa is a Textile & Fashion Designer with 4 years of work experience in high-end fashion and sustainable textile design.

emma van der leest

Emma van der Leest

Emma van der Leest is founder and creative director of BlueCity Lab, an open workshop, laboratory an incubator for circular entrepreneurs in and around Rotterdam. Trained as product designer with a great interest in bio-design, she collaborated with physicists, artists, designers at different universities to research the possibilities of living organisms such as bacteria, fungi, algae or cells.