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Hindrum, S, SCOBY Bear, Future Prototyping Exhibition, Melbourne School of Design (2020) [Other Exhibition]


Research Background Bacterial cellulose is currently being investigated by various industries due to its potential ability to literally grow the final product and eliminate various stages of production. The Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast (SCOBY), better known as the mother used for brewing kombucha tea, is grown from readily available domestic materials, like sugar and tea and is an easily accessible form of bacterial cellulose.

SCOBY Bear aligns the material with a familiar and non-threatening object – a child’s teddy bear. At the time of photographing the work, the SCOBY material used for making the bear was still alive and in a state of hibernation. All it would take to reactivate the material used for the bear’s skin would be to add a cup of cooled sweet tea. This reactivation process would allow the material to once again begin growing. The bear is made from bacterial cellulose, in this case the SCOBY (Symbiotic Colony of bacterial and Yeast) produced when fermenting tea.

Research Contribution As a result, zero material waste was produced to create the SCOBY bear pattern pieces. This design process required the negative space of the pattern pieces to float on the surface of the fermenting tea, restricting the available growing surface to the required pattern pieces. Once the SCOBY grew to the desired thickness, the pieces were washed and dried. This process produced the required pattern pieces that could be stitched to form the 3-dimensional bear.

Research Significance The significance of the final prototype is not readily apparent without first understanding the growing process implemented. This prototype involved the innovative method of literally growing the pattern pieces to size, with no cutting of material required.

Item Details

Item Type:Other Exhibition
Keywords:biofabrication, bacterial cellulose, SCOBY, biodesign
Research Division:Built Environment and Design
Research Group:Design
Research Field:Interaction and experience design
Objective Division:Manufacturing
Objective Group:Other manufacturing
Objective Field:Other manufacturing not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Hindrum, S (Mrs Sonja Hindrum)
ID Code:140361
Year Published:2020
Deposited By:Art
Deposited On:2020-08-10
Last Modified:2020-08-31

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