Opening of TU Delft's state-of-the-art Biodesign Lab

News - 15 December 2022 - Communication

TU Delft’s Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering  (IDE) has opened the doors of its state-of-the-art Biodesign Lab. In a world which needs to reduce its reliance on materials derived from fossil fuels, researchers will explore the design potential of living organisms. The carefully controlled environment of this clean biosafety Level (BSL) 1 Lab offers a space to investigate the unique design potentials of microorganisms, such as algae, bacteria, and fungi.

At an official opening of the laboratory Professor Caspar Chorus, dean of IDE, and Elvin Karana, professor of Materials Innovation and Design, cut the ribbon to this shared habitat. Guests including Dutch and international research collaborators and journalists, enjoyed an exhibition of living artefacts and lab tours. 

Working with living materials is an emerging field of research, opening up to new ways of designing and fabricating artefacts which contribute to cleaner production. Referring to her “invisible collaborators,” Professor Karana states that increasingly “designers will need to speak the language of biology and design.” Karana and her group of researchers are interested in how living artefacts can be ecologically and socially embedded in everyday life and how we as humans can become more empathic towards other living species. Living materials, in her view, are not just an instrument for the researcher but something to be taken care of.   

Extra information


Media cover

  • Listen here to an interview with Elvin Karana and Ward Grouters on BNR Nieuwsradio. (Dutch / English)
  • Read about the grand opening of the BioDesign Lab in Delta. (Dutch / English)