Living Colour is an ongoing biodesign research project exploring the possibilities of sustainable textile dyeing with live bacteria and cymatic (sound) frequencies.
The project is a collaboration between Laura Luchtman (Kukka) and partner-in-design Ilfa Siebenhaar. Ilfa & I met at a course called Textile Academy at Waag Society in Amsterdam. We are both intrigued by bacterial pigments, cymatics and sustainability. For this research project we decided to join forces.
Living Colour is an ongoing biodesign research project exploring the possibilities of natural textile dyeing with pigment-producing bacteria.
We are looking for an alternative to toxic textile dyes. The pigments found in some bacteria are biodegradable and friendly to humans, animals and the environment. We investigate optimum growth conditions for bacterial pigments, ways to scale the dyeing process and the possibilities of growing bacteria in patterns by subjecting them to sound frequencies.
The process uses no toxic chemicals, less water, lower temperatures and could add beneficial characteristics like an anti-bacterial function to fabrics. Growing bacteria as a dye factory could lead to a more sustainable way to colour the world.
The results of our cymatics research are published in an open source book, available at Issuu. The publication is also included in the library collection of the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences in Switzerland. Their research team (products & textiles) is researching the state of the art in natural dye and print techniques/materials in cooperation with ‘Raum für Farben‘ (room for colours).