Thesis „Offene Werkstätten als konviviale Werkzeuge zur ästhetischen Verwirklichung postkapitalistischer Utopien“ in German

The Thesis had to be handed in in German, a translation in English will follow as soon as possible.

+++ English abstract below+++

Es wird erläutert, warum Wachstum im Kapitalismus ein Imperativ ist und welche gesellschaftlichen und ökologischen Probleme dadurch gefördert werden. Um mit diesem Imperativ zu brechen, braucht es eine Revolution des Imaginären. Es stellt sich die Frage, ob Utopien ein transformatives Potential für gesellschaftliche Alter-nativen bergen und somit Werkzeuge oder Wegbereiter einer solchen Revolution sein könnten. Zuletzt wird am Beispiel von Offenen Werkstätten aufgezeigt, wie Utopien in nischenhaften Experimentierräumen gelebt und dadurch gesellschaftli-che Alternativen (des Produzierens) erprobt werden können.

There is an explanation of why growth is an imperative in capitalism and what sociological and ecological problems are the restrictions of this growth. There needs to be a revolution of the imaginary to break with the imperative of growth. The question is whether utopias have a transformative potential for social alternatives and can therefor become a tool or a starting point for this revolution. The example of Open Workshops shows how utopias can be implemented in experimental spaces and how this helps to test social alternatives (of manufacturing).

You can read the thesis with the topic: Offene Werkstätten als konviviale Werkstätten zur ästhetischen Verwirklichung postkapitalistischer Utopien (en.: „Open workshops as convivial tools for aesthetic implementation of postcapitalist utopias“) here:

Wissenschaftliche Arbeit von Uta Buschmann zum Thema Offene Werkstätten, Konvivialität, Postwachstum und Utopien

Report Update: 10 Days of Growth

10 days after planting the cultures in the containers with the nutrient solutions I can see a real progress in the cellulose layers‘ growth.

When in the beginning I couldn’t make out any growth and was already getting worried, in the last days the layers have been growing approximately 1mm a day. The thickness of the different cellulose layers now ranges from 0,4cm to 0,9cm.

There are already some first examinations I could make:

Logically, the thickness increases faster in the smaller containers.

The cultures seem to prefer a nutrition solution from pure green tea. Even though I mixed the other teas with some green tea as well, the pure one thrives fastest.

The test culture where I put proportionally the least sugar also grows slowest, though it might also be due to its position in the shelf, where it also gets the least heat.


Another nice development in the lab is that my fellow students have started to take notice of what I am doing in this small chamber. Yesterday and today students have repeatedly come in, asked questions and asked to see the cultures. There have already been some nice ideas and experiences brought in. Also they are starting to put their ideas and thoughts on the Open-Space-Posters I put on the door of the lab.

Maybe this development is also due to the music playlist I’ve been putting together and playing to the cultures.

Process Of Growth: Set-Up And Day 1

Last week I set up the Lab in an old storage room of my Uni Akademie JAK.

Though the lab is placed in a seperate room now, the idea is to create an open space for my fellow students to come in, ask questions and ideally participate in the project.

I did this first set up and recipe of cultures with tea and sugar based on the instructions I found here.

Detailed logbooks and descriptions of each culture will follow in seperate entries. At this point I am only at the beginning of the process, there are still a lot of mistakes to be made and lessons to be learnt. But in order to keep the process completly transparent I am also uploading this first steps.

If you are interested in this project, please contact me, you are all always welcome to come and visit my lab!

Logbooks, scrapbook, the concept of the collection and further inspiration and information will be uploaded soon(ish). I am very excited to see the process of this project and also to share it with all of you interested people!

A Textile Grown From Bacteria And Funghi

The idea sounds strange and intriguing to most people but it is not as innovative and new as one might think. In fact there are many projects and companies in different fields of design, science and engineering already using this or similar techniques to produce materials. In this first entry I want to briefly introduce some companies and projects that were relevant to my own research and growth of interest in the technique of biofabrication.

I first heard about the possibility of growing a textile from a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast in the fashion documentary The Next Black where they showed a research project of the designer Suzanne Lee. She used the waste product from making Kombucha Tea, which is a layer of cellulose, to create a textile for manufacturing clothes.

Suzanne Lee is now Creative Director of Modern Meadow, a team of designers, scientists and engineers working on creating lab-grown animal materials such as leather. She is also the founder of Biofabricate which is an annual event where developers from different fields of lab-grown materials come together to exchange ideas and knowledge and to network.

Bolt Threads is a company also working on creating lab-grown animal material with a focus on reproducing spider silk. They collaborated with Stella McCartney to create the first Microsilk collection.

In Copenhagen the designer Little Pink Maker and the Biologigaragen are experimenting in a very hands-on and collaborative way with lab-grown materials and their different possible usages. They also work on dyeing textiles with the help of bacteria cultures.

I was so intrigued by the idea of wearing a lab-grown material and the possibilities that come with this method of (textile) production that I decided to try and also grow fabric for my exam using this technique. I found detailed instructions of how to grow a textile from Kombucha culture and tea here.