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The mimicking of nature is a constant source of inspiration for researchers, artists and designers. How do we learn from natural materials and systems? ADD FORUM 3: Biofilia Breakfast gathered professors, researchers and artists with nature as their work’s reference point to discuss this.

Ionat Zurr and Oron Catts presented their Pig Wings and Victimless Leather project – Zurr is a researcher and academic coordinator, Catts the co-founder and artistic director of the Art & Science Collaborative Research Laboratory, School of Anatomy and Human Biology, UWA. In the Pig Wings project, tissue engineering and stem cell technologies are used to grow tissue in the shape of three different sets of three-dimensional wings. Victimless Leather takes stem cells of mice, and grows these cultures around a biodegradable polymer matrix to form a coat-like shape.

Olli Ikkala, academic professor in the Department of Applied Physics at Aalto University, presented his work on hybrid materials and the development of the mother of pearl. It is a natural material with the three classical mechanical properties: strong, stiff and lightweight.

Master of Science Jyrki Korpela and Dr. Harri Korhonen presented their work with the synthesis and modification of biodegradable polymers and the utilization of rapid prototyping methods in preparation of biomaterials. They develop their own biodegradable materials with standard 3D printers.


Micro UV resin printer sample.

Each participant’s work has nature as a reference point, whether to simulate biological materials or construct living materials synthetically.