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Natsai Chieza Designer-in-Residence with Synthetic Biology Team

30 April 2018

2017-06-12_FABER-FUTURES_GINKGO-BIOWORKS_13_A4A8446

The Synthetic Biology team at UCL Biochemical Engineering, led by Professor John Ward, have been joined by designer-in-residence Natsai Chieza. "My collaboration with John started in 2011 when he was in SMB in the Darwin Building. We created a framework for deploying colourfast bacteria dyes on fabric using Streptomyces, significantly minimising water-use and negating the use of harmful chemicals. 

From this I’ve focused on design-led protocol development that enable the production of uniform dyes, organic patterns and defined prints. Much of the work was created through exhibition commissions and residency programs, including through institutions like Foundation EDF, Science Gallery Dublin, V&A Museum, Microsoft Research UK, IDEO London, The Swedish Arts Council, and more recently Ginkgo Bioworks.

You can learn more about the work and its context via my TED talk (2017) If fashion has a pollution problem can biology fix it? For more on my design background please visit natsaiaudrey.co.uk.

Having spent nearly a year away from London, I will be continuing my residency at the UCL Biochemical Engineeing's Synthetic Biology lab to develop new projects for upcoming commissions and brand collaborations."

Find out more about Natsai's work at GinkgoBioworks here:

2017-06-12_FABER-FUTURES_GINKGO-BIOWORKS_14_A4A8612Project-Coelicolor_Material-Biological-Experimental-Prototypes_2017_5Project-Coelicolor_Material-Biological-Experimental-Prototypes_2017_11

Image credits

  • Image 1 & 2- Assemblages 001, (2017) | The first garment in the world dyed by Streptomyces bacteria. Natsai Audrey Chieza in collaboration with Ginkgo Bioworks.
  • Rise and Fall of a Micropolis, (2017) | Uniform dye finish on silk textile. Natsai Image 3 & 4- Audrey Chieza in collaboration with Professor John Ward.