The use of mycelium in 3D printing has the potential to revolutionize the manufacturing industry. As this new technology develops, it raises questions about our relationship with mycelium as a material. Working with mycelium is at the beginning of its development and allows for a new narrative on the use of natural resources in the industry.
While mycelium is a sustainable replacement, it is essential to ask ethical questions that may not always benefit the industry in the first place. We question what would be a new way of biofabrication from a collaborative perspective? What can we expect from fungi, and what can they expect from us? In this context, we will explore what it means to work together with fungi and create a collaborative workspace with them.
The summer school will focus on creating a substrate suitable for printing in 3D with mycelium. Mycelium is an expert in bridging interspaces, and we will research shapes and forms that allow for co-creation between us and the fungi.
By approaching this technology from a collaborative perspective, we can create a more symbiotic relationship with the fungi and work towards a more sustainable future for all.
- Basics about fungi’s environment, their needs in terms of light, temperature, humidity, and contamination
- Substrate workshop
- Workshop on how to work collaboratively with fungi
- Printing open structures to observe the growth and qualities of mycelium
- Observing growth through time-lapses and scanning of samples
- Proposed shapes by the participants based on observations.
- The course is suitable for anyone with interest and patience of working with fungi.
By using DNA technologically a large field of ethical yet also practical questions arise.
In this course, participants embark on a journey into the nanosphere, to process DNA. In collaboration with scientists, we make DNA fold and create tiny structures that become detectable with the help of an atomic force microscope (AFM). The resulting images capture the structures beyond their short lifespan. They can only be seen through the microscope as they are otherwise far beyond the limits of human perception.
The experience of scientific processes and procedures in the laboratory serve the participants as a starting point for their artistic examination of the material generated. Not only the limitation of human perception by moving in the nanosphere, but also the extraordinary responsibility that goes along with working with DNA can be highlighted. Building on this, the role of one‘s own experience of scientific processes in relation to such a debate is to be reflected. The participants‘ resulting reflections will be translated into an artistic medium of their choice, thus creating a link between the scientific and artistic spheres. In this way, we try to make the invisible tangible through individual artworks.
- close collaboration with scientists at Fraunhofer ENAS
- learn to design own DNA structures using design and simulation software.
- introduction to the technical processes of laboratory work and the subsequent initiation of biochemical processes for folding DNA
- insight into the use of the atomic force microscope (AFM) and associated software.
- analysis of the resulting data in dialogue with the scientists
- translation of scientific data and personal experiences through the process into individual artistic expression
- willingness to learn professional scientific software and processes
- interest in lab-specific work
In this course we will tackle physicality in the era of digital reproduction and technologies as part of these technologies, not their opposite or past. We will discuss the role of information in culture, the independence of information (freeing it from its electronic context), the importance of its transmission and storage.
We will experiment with art as a method of dealing with information/data. Thus the participants will develop a shared experience of experimenting with advanced technology in a cultural context, a collective consciousness enriched by the exchange of knowledge and experience.
Finally we will use an advanced metal printing process to create objects and artworks that use information as a medium. Therefore participants will learn how to describe objects in code for the use of advanced 3D printing in metal (LPBF). They will get to know a practical workflow to work with data intended for printing in metal using publicly available resources and in public domain, using open licenses and considerable demand for computing power.
They will then develop their own protocols for processing information into physical objects prepared by themselves and depending on individual preferences and own artistic approach.
- introduction: looking at a work of art as an expression of an information system — from the point of view of art history, theory and practice
- introduction to the generative/procedural creation of computer models for the use of advanced 3D printing in metal (LPBF).
- Mastering a practical workflow to work with data intended for printing in metal
Requirements for Course B
- The workshop invites people with different backgrounds and skills to participate,
- Previous experience and a basic knowledge in computer programming (especially Processing) are helpful.
- Interest in the use of generative and parametric techniques
The Lab 2025 was funded by the Cultural Capital Office Chemnitz 2025 and implemented as a pilot project within the EU-funded project InduCCI in cooperation with Kreatives Sachsen.
In cooperation with the Fraunhofer Cluster of Excellence Programmable Materials artists and designers are invited to investigate the novel programmable materials in a course by Prof. Dr. Johanna Schmeer. Through the cooperation with the institute, the participants gain access to new materials, which are not yet available on the market.
Following a Kick-Off event in Chemnitz and Dresden from 04th of October till 06th of October 2021 are followed by regular consultations (remote).