BLASS. Bacterial-produced glass

Design Research x Material Research x Concept Design

A new type of 3D printing that uses bacteria to bind silica powder into glass products. The use of nature mechanisms for technological innovations to create sustainable solutions.

Humans and bacteria are the two most dominant and invasive species on Earth. We are dealing with bacteria on daily basis without even knowing. Humans are not the first ones to build and nature could be a great inspiration for sustainable innovations. This is a perfect time to push the new findings forward, since the ties between science, technology and design are deepening.

The project is at the moment a speculation, but not so farfetched. It requires several years of research to find the right type of bacteria, that would cause the silica to solidify. The same principle is already used with sand and bioconcrete. As is not the case in today's glass industry, this technology allows cold production and minimises the CO2 emissions, it is cost efficient and less labour intensive. Every customer will receive a unique product: while fully controlling the initial 3D shape and printer settings, we can’t fully control bacteria. It is a collaboration with life itself.


2019 Design Academy Graduation Show, Dutch Design Week, Campina Factory, Eindhoven, Netherlands