Biolab contextualizes color in contemporary art and design questioning its related environmental issues. Laboratorium identifies the environmental impact of the color industry and envisions the shift towards a sustainable approach in color. Current research is focused on finding alternative materials for the color industry, but does not question what color should be or how to interfere in production and application. 

Laboratorium’s first research line ‘Living Colours’ focuses on the development of a time-based colour palette of algae pigments. Once applied these living colors fade and change. How can algae pigments be used as an analogue smart ink? The lab experiments with screenprinting, penplotting and 3D printing to apply the pigments into different disciplines.

The second research line ‘Structural Colours’ rethinks color generation structurally. Structural coloration produces color by microscopically structured surfaces in fine layers that interfere with light. In nature structural colors are responsible for iridescence which find their fuction in camouflage and mating. This research positions KASK & Conservatorium as the first institution applying this technology in arts and design. Structural colours are grown by creating synthetic melanin in the lab. The structures are applied onto ceramics, glass, paper, textile …

Ecology of Color

project team
María Boto Ordoñez, Heleen Sintobin
ecology, sustainability, colour production, algae, structural colours, pigments