Food for Thought, How to Biodesign, New Materials

From Algae to Bioplastic – recap How To Biodesign #1

How To Biodesign #1 ALGAE to Bioplastics

In the first How to Biodesign meetup ‘From Algae to Bioplastic’ we invited Eric Klarenbeek, Marjanne Cuypers and Nikki Spil to discuss the topic with our international network of bioneers. Thanks to artist Herman Weeda, the conversation is summarized in the image above.

This month’s speakers

Eric Klarenbeek

Eric Klarenbeek is a product designer and considers himself ‘designer of the unusual’. With his partner, Maartje Dros, he is looking for new, organic-based raw materials that, in the long run, can completely replace plastic. Klarenbeek will share the insights of his five-year research into local biopolymers based on algae from the North Sea. In addition to a form of CO2 binding, the end product is recyclable, compostable and circular. The process thus stimulates biodiversity, and the material forms an alternative to fossil non-degradable plastics.

Klarenbeek works together with Zeeboerderij IJmond to collect seaweed, and invited Nikki Spil for this meetup to share her story on starting out as a bioneer.

Marjanne Cuypers (BlueBlocks)

Marjanne Cuypers is a former lecturer in product design at the international bachelor program Industrial Design Engineering at The Hague University for Applied Science. Now, she is a biodesigner at Blue Blocks. Marjanne researches the role of design in transitioning towards a more sustainable food system, with a focus on new types of food (production) in local urban food networks (new ‘food webs’). Since December 2019 Marjanne is located in BlueCity Lab. She is currently working with Dutch Seaweed, extractions and fibres as a source for healthy food, bioplastic and fiberboard.

Nikki Spil (Zee Boerderij IJmond)

Nikki Spil developed her love for nature and sustainability when she was born and raised in the North of Holland, surrounded by the beach and the ocean. During her study Sustainability and Biomimicry at Willem de Kooning Academy, she broadened her knowledge and know-how for the development of new products and design in this field. It was during her graduation that Nikki shifted her focus from creating new things to preserving what is already there. The development of the Zee Boerderij was her biggest dream and together with her companion Sjoed Laarhoven. Nikki started the seaweed farm in the harbour of IJmuiden, developing a biofilter for water and creating raw materials at the same time.

How to Biodesign Meetup

Climate crisis asks for regenerative design. With the meetup series How to Biodesign, BlueCity Lab provides a platform for and by bioneers (pioneers in biodesign). Together with William Myers (curator, author, and teacher in Biodesign), we explore the opportunities from a systemic approach to raw material flows, making smart use of the latest knowledge and expertise about circular design, but also from biotechnology and biochemistry.

The monthly meet-ups facilitate interaction between bioneers who are already working and those who want to get started with biodesign and biofabrication, provide a platform for sharing stories and experiences and actively share knowledge, know-how and insights from the meetups to a broader audience.

Let’s stay connected

– You are welcome to join this linkedin group for Bioneers to be able to connect with each other outside these meetups.
– Check out the Guardian article on BlueCity. And follow BlueCity Lab on instagram to stay tuned on what’s growing in our Lab
– In case you have no clue what we were talking about when mentioning the Doughnut Economy: check this video for the great work of Kate Raworth and her team.
– You’re invited to the upcoming How To Biodesign meetups, check the agenda of BlueCity for upcoming meetups.