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Interspecies cosmotechnics

Adrien Rigobello (CITA)

Adrien Rigobello is a designer and industrial engineer; he is currently a Ph.D. candidate at the Royal Danish Academy in Copenhagen, within the Centre for IT and Architecture. His research focuses on trans-species design techniques and theories through fungal architectures. Adrien is the VP-founder of the NGO design studio thr34d5 which researches inclusive design through craft and digital tools, and is the former academic coordinator of the Advanced Master Design by Data in Ecole des Ponts ParisTech.

Project Description

Cultivating materials with microorganisms offers a renewed perspective on the practice of design in a variety of ways. The patient abandonment into the craft suggests an alternative focus, from user-oriented, experience-oriented, or even function-oriented positions found in modern and mainstream contemporary discourses and practices, to an ontology-focused design practice. The first impact of this turn regards aesthetics, where the organicness - or even grossness - of the artefacts reflect an aesthetic depth that is only found in more traditional craft, activist works, or terroir. While the aesthetic of the artefacts requires presence to be fully appreciated, it also suggests an alternative mode of existence that supports sustainability: of course these microorganisms can be of tremendous help in upcycling or remediating wastes, but it also favours vernacular and frugal practices that are intrinsically situated, and inclusive. But these two aspects also pair, and productively conflict, with common efforts in predicting material characteristics and resorting to growth simulations. Adrien will be introducing these design reflections on aesthetics and sustainability, and open a discussion on model design for microorganisms behaviour simulation.

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