Designer Sammy Jobbins Wells is manipulating bacteria colonies to produce a line of wearable objects. The innovative process uses bacteria produced cellulose to create a skin-like substance. The product is then stretched over 3D Balsa wood frames, inspired by animal bone corsets made in the 17th and 18th centuries. The glucose is mixed with Japanese Sencha tea, which gives the material a transparent tan color, making it appear more like human skin.
The designer, currently a student at the University of Arts in Bremen, Germany, created her material using a culture of a Kombucha mushroom, similar to the production of the popular drink. The process was originally developed by designers Suzanne Lee, Stefan Schwabe and Jannis Huelsen.
The project explores the potential ability to use organic matter as fabrication. This particular cellulose material is not sustainable for prolonged wear because a moist environment will return it to it's original wet state.
By Erica Euse