How to Biodesign

With the meetup series How to Biodesign, BlueCity Lab provides a platform for and by bioneers (pioneers in biodesign). Broadcasted live from BlueCity Lab in Rotterdam, we dive into a new topic every month: from building with mycelium and wood to harvesting solar energy in a natural way. After 20 successful How to Biodesign meetups in 2020 and 2021, BlueCity Lab is back with 10 new editions in 2022.


The climate and biodiversity crises ask for regenerative design of products, services and systems. With the How to Biodesign meetup series, BlueCity Lab offers a platform for and by bioniers (pioneers in biodesign). Emma van der Leest (founder of BlueCity Lab, biodesigner and author of the book Form Follows Organism) explores the possibilities of a systemic, regenerative approach to raw material flows in conversations with selected professionals from the field.

These monthly meetups facilitate interaction between experienced pioneers and those who want to get started with biodesign and biofabrication, offer a platform to share stories and experiences and to actively share knowledge, know-how and insights about biodesign practices with a wider audience.


#20 – Harvesting solar energy with living materials – 7 December 2021


Audio recaps of How to Biodesign season 2 can be found on Spotify.

Read Back

Read the recaps of the first 10 How to Biodesign meetups here:

#1 – From Algae to Bioplastic 

#2 – Bioluminescence as city lights

#3 – Futureproof packaging 

#4 – Regenerative textiles for the greater good

#5 – Next Biobased Building

#6 – Vertical farming in an existing environment

#7 – Genetic modification in a circular economy

#8 -From sewage waste to raw material

#9 – Local Energy: harvest and storage solutions

#10 – Growing proteins


With our focus shifting towards a circular economy, it is time to explore the endless possibilities of regenerative design. At BlueCity Lab, we believe that true circularity starts with regenerative design: designs that lead to a vibrant, biodiverse city in which ecological, social and economic values work together in a positive way. The former swimming pool Tropicana is a circular exemplary city in which entrepreneurs use residual flows from the city to create new products and services. In November 2020, BlueCity Lab opened the first circular built biolabs in the world for working with fungi, bacteria and biochemicals. The spaces are available for bioneers working on regenerative solutions.


In collaboration with from Ghent, we use BioFab Forum as the place to gather and share all knowledge and expertise available about biocircular solutions. Do you have a question, are you looking for a specific fungus strain, or do you want to share your entire project with a “crowd”: that’s all possible there. Check also various other forums besides the Biofab Forum, such as, KET, and the Global Communal Biosummit to connect, get knowledge and inspiration. 


The How to Biodesign meetups are made possible with the support of  the creative industries fund NL/Stimuleringsfonds Creatieve Industrie. We work together with our Rotterdambased networkpartners Rotterdam University of Applied Science, Willem de Kooning Academy,  and with our international networkpartners from Belgium,  and the Biodesign Challenge team to grow the number of conversations on how to biodesign, support the sharing of knowledge and increase the number of people that are working on these topics.


Would you like to become a supporting partner of the How To Biodesign meetups, or do you want to join as one of our network partners? Please reach out to Nienke Binnendijk via We look forward to learn and work together!

Genetic modification