# photosynthetic human

Iza Awad and Raoul Frese combine their research with art in order to create a podium for diversity and inclusiveness. In this project, a very large team of creatives will showcase a photosynthetic human. Project is funded by both the Vrije Universiteit, as a lab project funded by VUvereniging and the University of Amsterdam, via the FNWI grassroots science4all grant.

Chemistry students Tomiris Nabiyeva and Tianbo Duan also participate in this project as photographers. Tianbo also researches bacterial cellulose for garments.

# SMART Hybrid Forms: can an AI be a plant?

Hybrid Forms Lab is part of a consortium, together with the Zone2Source, Rietveld Academy, de Waag Society and V2, that received an NWO Smart Culture grant. 

Špela Petrič and Christiaan Zwanikken

The two years project  aims at  making connections between innovative artistic and scientific practices, targeting artificial intelligence.

Špela Petrič, with whom a solo exhibition in 2017, was presented at the Zone2Source, is one of two artists who will be employed as artistic researcher to work together with scientists in the Hybrid Forms Lab at the VU. Alice Smits, director of Zone2Source, is engaged as researcher at Rietveld Academy to study these new art-science methodologies as well as philosophical implications of plant representations. The laboratory of Raoul Frese collaborated earlier with Z2S on the symbiotic machine , with Ivan Henriques which won the Japan Media Arts Prize and an honorary mention at Ars Electronica. Een plant wordt een machine en een computerprogramma ben plant.
Kunstenaars en wetenschappers werken samen aan het creëren en testen van nieuwe biotechnologieën die ons helpen met het ontwikkelen van adaptieve strategieën in de nieuwe ecologie die verschijnt als gevolg van klimaatverandering.
Consortiumpartner: Gerrit Rietveld Academie, V2_Lab voor de instabiele media, Stichting ICU2, Stichting Waag Society

# Studiotopia: art meets science in the anthropocene

STUDIOTOPIA is a creative journey addressing sustainable development across Europe through the converging views of art and science. This initiative aims to establish better connections between arts and science, cultural and research institutions, academia, innovation centres, creatives and European citizens.

Studiotopia calls upon scientists to join artists in this speculative journey and to propose tentative solutions to global challenges in a collaborative, non-hierarchical residency.

In the course of almost two years, STUDIOTOPIA will offer 13 artists and 13 scientists a unique opportunity to collaborate together for 17 months. The residency programme aims to encourage scientists to exchange ideas, knowledge and methodologies with International visual artists while visiting their studios. Results, developed concepts, research material or artworks generated during STUDIOTOPIA residencies will be exhibited in partnering venues across Europe. Residency aims to create opportunities for artists and scientists to share their expertise with wide international audiences, curators, art specialists and researchers.

VU Artscience Lab is hosting two teams, one with Christiaan Zwanikken and another with Evelina Domnitch and Dmitry Gelfand

# Photosynthesis WITHIN bacterial cellulose – NWA grant

Iza Awad and Raoul Frese were awarded with 50.000 euros to further investigate this idea for one year.

An art science approach to bacteria cellulose and plant based living fabrics for sustainable fashion, hydroponics and circular economy.

Artists and scientists join forces to create a biomaterial from water, algae, bacteria, yeast and plants that contains the resources for the four most basic human needs: food, drink, energy and clothing. Maybe we people will be wearing their living, breathing and photosynthesizing clothes soon.

# New materials from living organisms in collaboration with Samira Boon Studio

The goal of this project is to develop new materials from living organisms to make our indoor climate healthier.

# Sensorial Skin

Annemarie Maes within her S+T+ARTS residency –Sustainable energy and materials


L’Origine du Monde: Annemarie Maes in collaboration with the Hybrid Forms Lab Amsterdam and BioLab Erasmus Hogeschool Brussel

Can we use bacteria as a power source? 
‘L’origine du monde’ is an artistic representation of research into the possibilities of cyanobacteria and micro-algae as source.  Aided by Sandrine D’Haene and chemistry student Iza Awad and innovation studies Granit Domgjoni, Annemarie investigates the beauty and utilization for renewable energy and novel biodegradable materials. The installation shows a strongly enlarged bacterial chain made from glass cells. Every cell is filled with cyanobacteria producing real time photosynthesis. Together they form a complex microbial population that communicates via quorum sensing and reduces CO2 emission whilst producing biopolymers.

Research on cyanobacteria

# CMD: Experiments in Bio-Algorithmic-Politics

With Michael Sedbon and Raoul Frese – BioArt Design award 2019

MU Artspace, Eindhoven, NL as part of the Polarities show (29th of November 2019 to March 1st 2020)


Michael Sedbon  has worked at HF Lab at a very large project completed in a time record of 5 months thanks to Sandrine D’Haene, our guest researcher Manuel Alfonso Soler, and the students in physics and chemistry Alexander Lambertz and Mees Dieperink.

On the 29th of November we were glad to show the 12 PBR for a total of 300 litres of spirulina. Constructed with integrated air, temperature, light and density sensors monitored by a central computer controlling an interactive light source.

Next to the challenge of building an impressive artwork, Michael has been able to program an artificial intelligence at the start of his nomination. Next to the beauty of the installation, Michael has focused his work on combining technology, biology with economy and politics. Two artificial ecosystems are dealing with resources, the light, and power through the financial market he has created via data collection, mainly the oxygen produced, processing and decision-making through genetic algorithms. At what type of organizational principle, sharing, competing, dominating, will the AI lead to?

# SyMSE: Symbiotic Machines for Space Exploration

Space exploration Moon, Mars

# Symbiotic machines, environmental robotics

Algae robot

# Photosynthetic Microbial Fuel Cell

A project with Ivan Henriques and Granit Domgjoni


# Automated systems powered by photosynthesis

Cyanobacteria in autonomous bioreactor with integrated bio-solar cell

# Biofilms

Living fabric

With Iza Awad


# Do it yourself biochemistry

Isolate photosynthetic material yourself to make bio-solar cells at home

# Grow your Micro-algae for food

Spirulina: healthy for you and the planet.
Rich in nutrients and a great alternative source of proteins


Waste treatment can be done with cyanobacteria