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Paper from the BAD research group at CHI conference in New Orleans

Recently, a paper from the Biobased Art and Design research group, in collaboration with Dr. Colin Ingham, Dr. Willemijn Elkhuizen, Radi Hamidjaja and Prof. Dr. Sylvia Pont, was accepted for CHI’s Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems in New Orleans, LA. The paper’s first authorship is shared by Ward Groutars and Clarice Risseeuw. The research project is funded by NWO’s Smart Cultures Programme, and led by Prof. Dr. Elvin Karana.

Project researchers explored Flavobacteria’s living aesthetics for living colour interfaces. Flavobacteria, which can be found in marine environments, are able to grow in highly organized colonies that produce vivid iridescent colourations. While much is known about the biology of these organisms, their potential in the field of design, as responsive media in user interfaces, had not been explored before. This paper redresses this by providing insights into changes in Flavobacteria expression (i.e. their living aesthetics), in relation to different stimuli. By exploring the responsive behaviours of this organism, and creating tools to do so, this work inspires HCI and design scholars to investigate other complex temporal features of living media for future user interfaces.

In the first week of May, Ward Groutars and Clarice Risseeuw will present the research at the CHI conference in New Orleans.

In Proceedings of the 2022 CHI ‘Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems’:



Photo: CHI2022

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The ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems is the premier international conference of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI). CHI – pronounced ‘kai’ – annually brings together researchers and practitioners from all over the world and from diverse cultures, backgrounds, and positionalities, who have as an overarching goal to make the world a better place with interactive digital technologies. CHI 2022 is structured as a Hybrid-Onsite full conference from April 30–May 5 in New Orleans, LA.

Coloured by Flavo

This research is about artists, scientists and bacteria co-developing high-performance colour’ as a sustainable alternative to petroleum-based pigments and dyes.

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‘Nature is a perfect example of an iterative design process. It is inspiring and full of exciting solutions.’

Clarice Risseeuw is a researcher within the Biobased Art and Design research group

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‘The dynamic relationship between humans and living artefacts will continue to evolve reciprocally with mutual care.’

Elvin Karana is Research Professor of Biobased Art and Design at the Avans and Associate Professor at the Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering, leading the research group Materializing Futures at TU/Delft. 

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‘Bacteria, Fungi, Humans, all part of the same experiment.’

Ward Groutars is a researcher with the Biobased Art and Design research group. 

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Research Group: Biobased Art and Design

The research group Biobased Art and Design capitalises on the role of artistic practice in unlocking the unique potentials of living organisms for everyday materials and communicating these to a broader public. In doing so, the group aims to instigate and accelerate our widespread understanding, further development and usage of such materials. The group’s research approach encourages tangible interactions with the living organisms, such as algae, fungi, plants and bacteria, to explore and understand their unique qualities and constraints through diverse technical and creative methods taking artists, designers and scientists as equal and active partners in the material creation.

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