Magma Nova Materials engages a strategic transition towards a bio-based economy. We operate a novel approach across biology, design and architecture. Our research includes biological adaptability of materials, structural lightweight design and additive fabrication technologies,
Our mission is to help guiding our society into a new era of production where objects get shaped by organisms.
We position ourselves at the intersection between design, biology and digital fabrication.
Limited resources of fossil fuels and raw materials, the climate change issues and the peak oil, in this age totally based on fossil fuels nothing is so urgent as engaging a transition towards a bio-based and circular economy.
For decades we have been extracting resources without taking their environmental impact and end of life into account. Since the Industrial Revolution our society has been significantly dominated by the rules of mass production and assembly lines initiated by Henry Ford.
The environmental damage, generated by the accelerated process of industrialisation and urbanisation, drives us to rethink the relationship between design architecture and the design strategies of nature.
Now, multiple components with different properties are manufactured and assembled, typically after the fabrication process, resulting in less effective and wasteful material strategies. The design and fabrication of objects have been dissociated from their context, almost forgetting the fact that those objects directly affect the environment. Therefore, when we create an object, it is our responsibility to design a complementary context in which that object is never classified as having a negative value. The problems we face today are due to hardly ever doing this the right way.
What if the materials that surrounds us would be grown with biological organisms, like bacteria and mycelium?
What if those materials could bio-degrade and become a nutrition to the soil after their use?
Our research is focused on the development of innovative lightweight architectural structures made from organically grown mycelium-composites, by applying new additive manufacturing techniques. Elise Elsacker is a Phd researcher at Architectural Engineering Lab of the VUB. Her main goal is to engineer variations in material properties of the living matter to produce complex 3D shapes.
We hold workshops, masterclasses and lectures on mycelium-materials, bacterial leathers, bio-design and related topics because we're passionate to stimulate a new generation of designers, architects and engineers to work with materials that are grown with living organisms. We have therefor partnerships with the biolab ReaGent and the Open biolab Brussels., but can also organise the workshops on location.
We advise organisations on their waste or material challenges. We investigate and develop innovative ways to transform the left-overs, like paper, cardboard, wood, agricultural by-products, of companies into new design solution by using micro-organisms. To do so, we offer advice and assistance in researching the process from the proof of concept to the prototype, with a sustainable and economical approach.
We have built our own interdisciplinary lab, located in Brussels. This allows us to prototype fast and independently in both fields of biology and design. We have a SLA 3D printer, a big (40x40x70) ceramic 3D printer, a laminar flow, an autoclave, a refrigerator, hot plates, small tools, etc...