‘The pleasure of working in the [MI] lab is that microbiological research is carried out from two different approaches.’
John van der Werf is a researcher and technical laboratory assistant within the Biobased Art and Design research group.
John van der Werf graduated from MLO in 1989 in Technical Microbiology. In 1994 he obtained his diploma at the HLO of the Hogeschool Rotterdam en Omstreken in Biochemistry. After graduating, he worked at various companies as a microbiological analyst.
Between 2001 and 2018, John conducted research at AkzoNobel on the protection of paints against damage caused by bacteria and fungi.
John works in the Material Incubator [MI] as a biobased materials researcher and technical laboratory assistant. In [MI], research is carried out by researchers from the Biobased Art and Design research group, and by researchers from the Biobased Building research group, CoE BBE. As manager of [MI], John is responsible for the ins and outs of the laboratory in Den Bosch.
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.Read more
‘The dynamic relationship between humans and living artefacts will continue to evolve reciprocally with mutual care.’
‘In my work the concept of time is a recurring theme.’
‘It is through the “not-knowing” that a stimulating and caring environment can be created to confidently share vulnerability.’
‘Bacteria, Fungi, Humans, all part of the same experiment.’
‘I’m interested in how we can implement situated learning within design education.’
‘I’m interested in harnessing the ingenuity of biological organisms to solve today and tomorrow's problems. ’
‘The ultimate goal is to enable people to improve their lives, making them more enjoyable and comfortable.’
‘Exploring and integrating novel perspectives to our everyday through the eyes of fungi.’
‘I am eager to explore how unique qualities of ‘living materials’ can transform the way we think, feel and act.’
‘Nature is a perfect example of an iterative design process. It is inspiring and full of exciting solutions.’