Liv Bargman and Nina Cutler present "Quantworm Mine" at BDC Summit 2017.  Image courtesy of Valery Rizzo

Liv Bargman and Nina Cutler present "Quantworm Mine" at BDC Summit 2017.

Image courtesy of Valery Rizzo


Liv Bargman and Nina Cutler

Quantworm Industries is a nanotech wormery housed on former coal mining sites in South Wales that utilizes the earthworm’s natural ability to bio-remediate contaminated soil and bio-synthesize nanoparticles called quantum dots (QDs) from heavy metals. 


Pink Chicken Project

Leo Fidjeland & Linnea Våglund

Human actions have altered the Earth so profoundly that we have entered a new geological epoch - the Anthropocene. The project suggests genetically modifying a chicken with pink bones and feathers using a gene from the insect cochineal to produce a pigment that will be fossilized when combined with the calcium of the bone. By changing the color of chickens to pink, this project rejects the current violence inflicted upon the non-human world and poses questions of the impact and power of synthetic biology. 

Learn more at


Carole Collet has dedicated her career to developing a new vision for design, and pioneered the discipline of Textile Futures at Central Saint Martins fifteen years ago. She is now a full-time Professor and Director of the Design & Living Systems Lab at Central Saint Martins. Her research focuses on exploring the intersection of biology and design to develop speculative and disruptive sustainable design proposals. Collet operates within a long-term framework and her research targets the year 2050 and beyond. By anticipating future key socio-economic factors and technological timelines, she aims at impacting today’s design directions so as to enable a more resilient and sustainable future. Collet’s ambition is to elevate the status of design to become a powerful tool that contributes to developing innovative paths to achieve the ‘one planet lifestyle’.

Her recent curation of ‘Alive, New Design Frontiers’ questions the emerging role of the designer when working with living materials and technologies such as synthetic biology and clearly establishes a new original framework for designing with the living. One of Collet’s characteristics is that she straddles different research roles, from designer, to curator and educator. This enables her to develop an informed critique of both the design outputs and the design contexts, from making knowledge to framing knowledge.

Scientific Mentor

Dr. Tom Ellis started his career in synthetic biology working under the supervision of Jim Collins in one of the founding groups in the field at Boston University. Before joining Imperial College London, Tom worked at the Institute of Biotechnology at the University of Cambridge. He has a PhD in pharmacology from the University of Cambridge.


Banner image: Michael D. Beckwith, The Leeds Library