Thursday, May 26, 2011

Bacteria hailstone conspiracy!

picture of hailstones presumably created by bacteria taken from the BBC article noted below

This news article on the BBC website mentions recent research findings that suggest bacteria can be the cause for precipitation!  That extends the reach of bacteria into a realm that few would have guessed was possible.  Go bio!  Hmmm..... as a designer challenge, it would be interesting to design a genetically modified bacteria that causes for special hailstone shapes. 

My votes:
1) hailstones that create a whistling sound as they fall
2) hailstones in the shape of an airfoil--with a snowball tip  (hopefully a safer design than jarts!)
3) hailstones with a special crystal pattern that reflects various colors of light.

Any ideas?  Send me an email at

Original news article:

Thomas Heatherwick: designer of the "seed cathedral"

Seed Cathedral - UK Pavilion at the World Expo, Shanghai 2010.  Photo: Iwan Bann (available at

The recently released Ted Talk video of designer Thomas Heatherwick provides background, motivation, and discussion of his designs inspired by nature.  One of the most widely publicized is the Seed Cathedral, or the UK Pavilion at the World Expo, Shanghai 2010.  It is comprised of 66,000 seeds trapped in the tips of fiber optic rods that give the cube-like building a furry surreal look and through its simplicity and striking design, it leaves the visitor undoubtedly transformed.

Have a look at the Ted talk, then pop on over to the Heatherwick website to check out their other works.  My favorite is the bridge whose ends kiss themselves.

A view inside the Seed Cathedral suggests the human face amidst 66,000 seeds - UK Pavilion at the World Expo, Shanghai 2010.  Photo: Iwan Bann (available at

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Suzanne Lee: Grow your own clothes | Video on

Suzanne Lee: Grow your own clothes | Video on

This is an interesting presentation of a new concept in fashion design. Suzanne Lee, director of BioCouture harnesses the power of bacteria to grow cellulose fiber based cloth. I can't help but think of the victimless leather jacket from Oron Catts and Ionat Zurr at the Tissue Culture & Art Project. 

Indigo dyed jacket shows a brilliant blue

The bacteria eats sugar and spins threads of cellulose!

Bio Kimono

Suzanne Lee, Director of BioCouture