botanical factory

| project type |

a design research initiative co-led by Guillaume Foissac (ENSCI France) and Carole Collet (CSM)

| project synopsis |

‘Botanical Fabrication’ is a research initiative which aims at investigating how an understanding of botany and horticultural techniques can challenge the design process and lead to alternative sustainable manufacturing and ‘eco-facturing’ tools. In a context where we urgently need to devise new principles to live, manufacture and consume within the ecological capacity of our finite planet, the paper argues for the development of a new framework for design and manufacture inspired by plant physics and biomechanics. A selection of design proposals that have emerged from a research workshop (2012), an exhibition-based experiment (Botanical Factory, 2013) and a current design project (Solar Gourd, 2015) are presented below so as to inform a critical analysis of the research to date. Each stage has led to explore both the imaginary and the practical realities of intersecting design thinking, plant physics and horticultural techniques and have contributed to develop a pertinent body of knowledge in relation to potential future botanical manufacturing. To date, the research has been limited to one-off small scale experiments and needs to move to larger production scales to test and validate the hypothesis.


| project outputs |

a research workshop

a series of artefact for the ‘Alive, New design frontiers’ exhibition at the Espace EDF Foundation, April-Septemeber 2013

a conference paper