Emma van der Leest Wins Bio Art & Design Award

Thu 13 Jun

The bio-artists' duo, Emma van der Leest (Product Design, 2015, Founder of BlueCity Lab) and Aneta Schaap-Oziemlak (PhD, Founder of Bio-inspired Think Tank, Leiden Bioscience Park), is among the winners of the Bio Art & Design Award 2019 (BAD Award) that has been awarded on Thursday, June the 13th, during the Border Sessions Festival in Den Haag. Eleven international teams of artists and scientists pitched their bio-art project ideas during the final. An expert independent jury has chosen three projects as winners, who each receive a prize of € 25,000 to realize their bio-art project. The artworks will then be exhibited at MU Artspace in November.

The jury about the winning project:

"Coating Extrahuntur a Fungi. Emma van der Leest and Aneta Schaap-Oziemlak. In collaboration with Paul Verweij and Sybren de Hoog (Center of Expertise in Mycology, Radboud UMC/Canisius Wilhelmina Ziekenhuis).

This project seeks to capitalise on the vast potential of microbe-produced leather material, to overcome its need for synthetic coating and deliver a 100% natural solution. This may, at last, lift a much-lauded bio-design creation out of the purgatory of prototype-hood.

The jury was impressed by the improbability of achieving such a feat with human pathogenic fungi, which they intend to do, introducing a pleasing duality, that something legitimately feared can, in fact, help humankind, by making fashion more ecologically sound. There is also palpable enthusiasm and commitment, equal across all members of the team, that was clear during their presentation.

Their tenacity and vision, we find, are reason enough to hope that the world we transmit to future generations may, in fact, be better than that which we have inherited."

About Bio Art & Design Award

The Bio Art & Design Award (formerly known as Designers & Artist 4 Genomics Award), BAD Award for short, is a unique competition that aims at stimulating young artists and designers from The Netherlands and abroad to experiment with bio art and design and to collaborate with renowned Dutch science centres.

The BAD Awards of €25,000,- each, are assigned by an international jury to the most promising and original proposals in the competition. The projects are consequently realised within six months and exhibited. Some contestants who do not get an Award still find other ways to realise their ideas.

The young artists and designers who win this competition often get a head start in their artistic careers. The BAD Award functions as a springboard, either for new nominations or BAD Awards, new or extended collaborations, grants, positions or new publications. Read more...

Header image: Emma van der Leest, photography Sophie de Vos

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