Skin, a project by Sammy Jobbins Wells
Skin is an algorithmically generated, wearable object grown by live bacteria colonies. The project explores the aesthetic and functional potential of organic, bio and living materials being used within the context of digital fabrication. An initial digitally conceived form is realised physically by natural processes, in this case via the cellulose bi-product of live bacteria.
The project began with an extensive experimentation phase with various potential materials that culminated in a printed book and a wearable object. The wearable artefact is inspired by animal bone corsets of the 17th and 18th centuries and the form generated algorithmically using architectural software. The material is grown from acetobacter xylinum, a strain of bacteria that produces a microbial cellulose textile as it consumes glucose. It is a completely sustainable production method that requires no external energy input in order for the bacteria colonies to produce the material.