“Living Artefacts” is a project by Stefan Schwabe, a student of Design Interactions at the Royal College of Art. Stefan is exploring the subject of “natural” and “artificial” by using bacterial cellulose to harvest artefacts.
It is during these times that myth may become reality. The creation of composite beings no longer remains a chimerical matter of our ancient tales. As a result of modern scientific advances, the combining of different life forms has become routine. Where might this lead us? Are we indeed able to extend our minds, not only into material culture, but also into living >artefacts?
“The Kernels of Chimaera” is an chamber constructed by Stefan which maintains the growth of a living material and performs an automated production of these hybrid living artefacts. Each day, the machine automatically harvests a layer of bacterial cellulose that has grown in one of the nine reactor jars. The cellulose is then picked up by a vacuum arm and placed within a small wooden clamp to be inflated by a syringe. Finally, once the inflated cellulose has dried, it is carried upwards by a flow of air flow of air and begins to levitate.