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Where: The OME, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

When: 1-10 August 2022

Funded by: Connected Everything, HBBE

Deadline: 13 June 2022

To apply: Please fill out 


We are inviting practitioners to design and 3d-print an experimental sculpture: a living material prototype for the OME. The OME is an experimental building that belongs to the Hub for Biotechnology in the Built Environment (HBBE) in Newcastle upon Tyne. In this workshop we will explore clay, living mycelium and textiles in regard to inviting the colonization of insects and microorganisms. Therefore we will share our expertise in additive manufacturing, parametric design, textile design, and with designing for and with bees, plants, amphibia, and fungi. Our interest is in the complexity of multispecies habitats introduced into our common built environments, with a focus on insect and microbial life. The microclimate is the critical link between any habitat’s physical planning (geometry, spatial configurations, material compositions) and its receptivity to living organisms. One may argue that microhabitats are formed primarily as a result of variations in microclimates. A variety of microclimates can be induced by passive strategies adapting form and material, and/or active strategies using sensors and controllers. Such hybrid habitat architectures can also affect the species diversity in such habitat designs. Therefore, we will develop a material monitoring system to track the mycelium's response to environmental changes as well as its living environments, particularly the response of local organisms to large mycelium bodies in their ecosystems. 

The participation is free of charge but unfortunately, we will accept only 9 applicants.


> Designing, fabricating, and monitoring an experimental sculpture for the OME 

> Collecting and analyzing microbiome-related data 



> Presentations and tutorials by the organisers and potential guests

> 3D design and modelling; 3d-printing of clay 

> Environmental monitoring hardware and software

> Data visualisation 

> Growing mushroom mycelium 

> Microbiological sample collection



  1. Software: Experience in Rhinoceros, Grasshopper3D

  2. Experience in working with living materials and/or additive manufacturing techniques



The Hub for Biotechnology in the Built Environment (HBBE) is a unique research centre that brings together bio-scientists from Northumbria University and architects, designers and engineers from Newcastle University. Their vision is to make built environments which are life-sustaining and sustained by life; a new generation of ‘Living Buildings’. They are responsive to their natural environment; grown using living engineered materials to reduce inefficient industrial construction processes; metabolise their own waste, reduce pollution, generate energy and high-value products and modulate their microbiome to benefit human health and wellbeing. The OME is an experimental building in the heart of the Newcastle University campus, where HBBE researchers come together to collaborate, test and demonstrate their technologies at building scale. The OME consists of a self-contained apartment (the home) situated above a laboratory and enclosed within a protective building envelope. A prototyping and exhibition space will allow living prototypes to be tested whilst learning about people’s response to, and interactions with, these new materials and systems. The façade of the OME has been designed to enable a range of material samples, both bio-fabricated and living, to be tested in an external environment and viewed by the public, whilst considering the interaction of the building with its environment. 

The clay printer, kiln, OME ground floor space, and OME lab are made available to us for our workshop, so that we can contribute to the research and teaching projects of the OME/HBBE.

If you have any questions please reach out to

Asya Ilgun is a designer and researcher. Her main territory of “research by design” is framed as novel ways of using additive manufacturing (in particular deposition based) technologies to make new types of structures that breed the questioning of architectural boundaries, supporting the dual occupancy of humans and other living organisms. Currently, she is doing her doctoral research at the Artificial Life Lab, Graz, Austria. Her role in this group is to think of the material interfaces where biology and technology merge, within the design, material and fabrication track of the project HIVEOPOLIS - a technologically enhanced housing for honeybees. She is interested in varied scales of design prototyping, machine programming, data visualisation to broader architectural concept development and public communication via Maker Platforms.“


Dilan Özkan  is an architect and researcher who focuses on working with living systems. She aims to push the limits of traditional architectural production and bring different approaches by discovering new material making processes. She is integrating other fields’ findings into her experimental architecture, particularly computation and biology. Dilan completed an architectural design masters at Pratt Institute in New York, where she was first inspired by the strange aesthetics of living organisms. After this, she worked for the nonprofit architecture and urban design group Terreform One. Currently, she is a PhD student at Newcastle University. Within her research, she is investigating ways to work  with non-linear materials in architecture.


Laurin Kilbert holds a degree in metal design and runs his design studio in Hildesheim, Germany. Recently, he completed his Master's Degree in Design from the University for Applied Arts (HAWK) in Hildesheim, exploring the sensuality of digitality, organic algorithms, and additive manufacturing from craft- and body-related perspectives. While teaching in different courses, as well as studies of transformation design at the University of Fine Arts (HBK) Braunschweig, he is currently developing multispecies habitats for urban wildlife, 3D printed in clay, as part of "Symbiotic Spaces". Symbiotic Spaces provide habitats to non-human species in urban environments whilst offering humans the chance to get to know their Other Neighbours. 


Phil Ayres is a Professor of Biohybrid Architecture at the Centre for Information Technology and Architecture (CITA) in Copenhagen where he continuously develops radical visions of architecture in which living organisms and computational technologies merge to form living architectural structures. He pushes forward the research not only in his own field but in combination and collaboration with high level academic and industrial partners acting as a Principal Investigator for Flora Robotica: Societies of Symbiotic Robot-Plant Bio-Hybrids as Social Architectural Artifacts (2015-2019) and Fungal Architectures (2020-2022). 


Svenja Keune is a postdoctoral researcher at the Swedish School of Textiles, University of Borås, in Sweden and at the Centre for Information Technology and Architecture (CITA) at the Royal Danish Academy in Copenhagen. During her phd project “On Textile Farming” within the MSCA ArcInTexETN she turned towards seeds as a potential biological alternative, and as a dynamic material for textile design. In order to explore alternative ways of living that the textile plant hybrids might propose, Svenja built and moved into a Tiny House on Wheels to live together with the research experiments. Svenja is currently working on 'Designing and Living with Organisms (DLO)’, a 3 year project funded by an international postdoc grant from the Swedish Research Council.


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