Bio Design Challenge. Week 1-Week 3

I am taking part in a project in collaboration with MA Material Futures. 

Week 2

Consisted of brainstorming the concept and topics that we found interesting.


(insert images from nina here)


Week 3

We did a collective brainstorm in class.

We came up with three working titles….

1. New Metal Harvest

  • Future landscape. Heavy metal lichens - metallothytes. 
  • Phytoremediation/extraction
  • Modifying the worms cells to become repellant to predators when a certain level of metals are accumulated, so as to not bioaccumulate up the food chain. 
  • Certain flowers bioaccumulate certain specific metals. A speculative design of flowers and plants which accumulate blobs of metal. 

Who - Brenda Parker,

What - Worms as bio indicators of metal levels. 

Where - Brownsites. 

How - Worm charming. 

2. Quantum Dots

  • Nanotechnoloy -  use the earthworms’ process of digestion to simultaneously synthesise small luminescent particles that can conduct electricity, called quantum dots.
  • A possible future speculative solution. Welsh mines could be new sites for worm farms which produce cadmium telluride (CdTe) i.e. Quantum Dots. Future tech uses these dots to make bio led screens.

Who - Prof Mark Green, Kings College London.

Mark forster-

What -

Where - Welsh mines and factories. 

How - Worm charming. Do some ethnography research. 

3. Foraging City

How do we turn London into one, to promote soil enrichment?

Citizen science- kits for the public to check area.

  • Colour worms - biometers/ biomonitors.  

More of a holistic look at soil biota

Who - 

The public as audience (families and schools), stakeholders-  Soil association, 

Talk to foragers -  John Rensten - @ForageLondon

Earthworm Society.  -

Emma Sherlock, Natural History Museum - @EmmaSherlock4

Ariana Jordao -

Cranfield univeristy - soil experts

What - Create a worm festival. 

Where - London brownsites. 

How - Worm charming. Bio-remediate brownsites. 


We Tested for soil enrichment on site. 

Camley street nature park

Victoria park



by the side of pavements.

see if we can find worms. 

document worm charming. 



We had our tutorial, and we decided that our research on Quantum Dots was the most interesting. 

“Quantum dots are nanoscale-sized pieces of semiconductor.”

Candidates for things like tiny lasers, photovoltaic materials, and LEDs.

Can also be created in bacteria and yeast.

Created by Cadmium and Tellurium - Both of the individual elements on their own are toxic, so organisms will typically remove them from their interior spaces and concentrate them somewhere harmless.


Further research what the authors appear to be most interested in is trying out different salts in order to see what other materials could be concentrated into useful products by the guts of earthworms.

Use of bacteria Escherichia coli