Maryland Institute College of Art

Theme: Manufacturing

Living things create structures and processes using little energy, creating little waste and at room temperatures. Compare that to modern manufacturing techniques that "heat, beat, and treat," as Janine Benyus writes to shape.  In 2016, the student design teams at MICA will explore new manufacturing methods that are grown from living things. Learn more about the course at


Gage Branda, Sarah Whelton, Jake O'Hagan, Emma Whitlock

A biomaterials starter kit designed to introduce makers to the expansive world of biomaterials, the contents of the Starter Culture kit, which include bioplastics, mycelium and silk proteins, can be propagated and shared among makers.


Anna Brancaccio, Catie Buhler, Sam Kendrick, Besan Khamis

A floating, mesh bullseye contains bioengineered algae that produce secondary fish products like fishmeal and oils.

Baywatch Bay Blocks

Esther Kim, Mika Rosenberg, Andrew Flanders, Sanskruta Chakravarthy

Calcium carbonate oyster habitats, Bay Blocks was developed for hobbyist oyster gardeners to collaboratively rebuild oyster beds on the East Coast.  

Design Professor

Ryan Hoover is an artist and researcher operating at the intersection of digital fabrication, biological systems, and traditional crafts. His work explores the complex ethical implications of new technologies. He exhibits at museums and art centers internationally, and is the recipient of multiple grants and awards.

Hoover's research informs his studio practice and also strives to open positive pathways for others to explore. He leads an interdisciplinary research group on bioprinting at the Baltimore Under Ground Science Space, where he also serves as a board member. He co-organizes the Bioprinting Breakout, an annual conference on bioprinting and tissue engineering that fosters exchange between the fields of medicine, science, engineering, design, art, and civics.

Hoover holds an MFA in interdisciplinary art from MICA's Mount Royal School and a dual BFA in Sculpture and Philosophy from UNC Asheville. As faculty in MICA's Interdisciplinary Sculpture department, he leads innovative classes in digital fabrication and other emerging technologies.


Banner image: Michael D. Beckwith, The Leeds Library