Biotalk: The Design Away Perspective

Biotalk 28 - with Conny Groenewegen, Maarten Vanden Eynde and Maurizio Montalti

2 Nov 2017

In a world polluted by more plastic than the eye can see, the time has come to find another way of dealing with our environment. During this biotalk, artist Maarten Vanden Eynde, fashion designer Conny Groenewegen and designer Maurizio Montalti dive into the world of plastics. Together, we explore the beauty and necessity of sophisticated un-making. How do we get rid of Microplastics, and (worse) how to deal with (nano) plastics in the ocean? Join this Biotalk on 2 November at Mediamatic Biotoop.

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Fleecylium - Mycelium on Fleece - decaying material geographies ©Officina Corpuscoli - Maurizio Montalti -

Microplastics, Nanoplastics and Bacteria 

Design is associated with intelligence and craftiness. By contrast, destruction seems a brutish and simple act. However, when it comes to the new challenges raised by the Antropocene, we have to come up with a new and clever solutions beyond the functional life of a product. In this new geological epoch, man’s influence has a lasting effect on earths eco systems. In the Antropocene, design faces the task of re-connecting with living matter by finding ways to get rid of stuff, instead of creating more. 


Conny and FAMA team explaining the fashion mashine project -

Fashion Machine 

When you wash a fleece sweater in the laundry machine, more than a million microplastics are released in the ocean. This is one of the ways in which fleece is an immensely polluting fabric. This whole summer, fashion designer Conny Groenewegen and volunteers knitted giant fleece banners that slowly engulfed Mediamatic’s headquarters. Fashion Machine reflects the impact of fast throw-away fashion on you, your environment and our world. This October the project will be taken down. When we do so, we look for the afterlife and the possibilities of transforming the material. 


Maarten Vanden Eynde

As an artist, Maarten Vanden Eynde engages in long term research projects that allow him to focus on a specific topic for many years. Relating to the significant impact of humans on the planets, Maarten’s work engages with the process and consequences of time. Between 2008 and 2015, he worked on Plastic Reef, a growing installation of melted plastic debris from the worlds oceans.


Maarten answering questions during the break -

Maurizio Montalti

Maurizio Montalti is a designer concerned with a thorough, trans-disciplinary, research- based practice, whose work addresses social and environmental challenges. In The Future of Plastic, he researched possible alternatives and potentially different futures, in which plastics exist as a completely natural material. During this biotalk, Maurizio reflects on the opportunity of collaborating with micro-organisms. In this way, he hopes to create viable alternatives and perspectives, to change the way we - humans - relate with the ecosystem we’re part of.


Maurizio showing his mycelium related work -

Conny Groenewegen

Conny Groenewegen zooms in on the issues associated with industrial production and labor processes. Her research traces back to the origins of methods: revealing and re-establishing the sparkle of manufacturing before the fashionable took its toll. During this edition of Biotalk, she reflects on her project Fashion Machine and shares and discusses work with Maurizio and Maarten on the afterlife of fleece. What to do with this highly polluting fabric? 


Conny with Maarten and Maurizio -


Biotalk: The Design Away Perspective 
Thursday 2 November
Program starts at 20:00
Mediamatic Biotoop, Dijksgracht 6, Amsterdam
Tickets: €7,50 pre-sale | €10 door | Students €5