Orchestrating biological growth

Using robotic fabrication to alter living organisms' development

Every year the Australian Network for Art and Technology (ANAT) offer two residencies as part of its prestigious Synapse program. One of this year’s recipients is Natalie Alima will be hosted by SensiLab. In collaboration with SensiLab director Jon McCormack she will explore ways to control and orchestrate biological growth with the aim of reimagining how designers, artists and architects work with nature.

Robotic intervention can be used to alter and direct biological growth in ways that have never before been possible, including the construction of bio-scaffolds, exploitation of tropisms, and cellular 3D printing. Natalie will look this relationship from a different point of view; fabricating and examining a verity of biodegradable 3d printed scaffolds, experimenting with a range of mycelium mediums (such as pastes, gels and liquids) and allowing the design process to be driven by the organism’s chemical reactions and structural constraints.

A schematic of the creative process
The experimental process

Through this approach, a number of prototypes will be produced in order to explore this relationship between robotic fabrication and living organisms.

The research is ongoing. Follow Natalie’s progress on her website.

Project members

Natalie Alima
Jon McCormack
Elliott Wilson

Natalie’s Synapse Residency is Supported by the Australian Network for Art & Technology (ANAT), in association with Monash University and the Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund.

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