[ISEA2023] Paper: Vivien Roussel, Lucile Haute, Marc Teyssier & Pascal Dhulster — Processes, Fabrication and Design with Kombucha Bacterial Cellulose: Mapping Practices


Full Paper. Theme: Bioart – Biodesign Sub theme: Symbiotic Organizations

Kombucha is a fermented drink that has been drunk in Asia for centuries, and has been recently popularized in western cultures. The production of the drink generates a co-product, a biofilm of Bacterial Cellulose (BC). This biofilm is today at the center of a typology of bio-design practices, ranging from initiation workshop to fermentation to practical and plastic research around shaping objects with this living matter. This paper proposes an overview and initial classification of the current design practices that use Kombucha Bacterial Cellulose as raw material of artifact. To this extent, we structured a corpus of selected projects in a Principal Component Analysis (PCA) map. We classified 38 projects in the field of design, made between 1985 to 2022. Each project is positioned in an orthonormal frame of reference according to its degree of definition of use (from the most open use to the most defined use) and its scale of manufacture (from single experimentation to industrial production). This map tries to bridge the gap between the communities.

  • Vivien Roussel (FR) is a biodesigner and maker. He is a PhD student in design at the PROJEKT and CHROME laboratories of the University of Nîmes and Resilient Future at the Institutfor Futur Technology of the De Vinci Institute in Paris. He works on the digital biofabrication of artifacts from the control of living organisms, and comes from several disciplines: Bioengineering, Human-Machine Interface and Design. [Translation from French by Google Translate]
  • Lucile Haute
  • Marc Teyssier
  • Pascal Dhulster