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The Mikro Collective - Student Edition

Scientific objects laid out on lab table
Scientific objects laid out on lab table

Written by
Post-Grad Community
Published date
27 January 2021

The primary focus of this special interest group is to build a library/catalogue resource of the microorganisms being worked with in The Grow Lab at CSM and to provide peer-to-peer support in the development of our work in Biodesign. This is a part of a bigger, outside project being developed by MA Material Futures recent graduates Sarah Graham and Molly Bonnell called The Mikro Collective.

The Mikro Collective is an open source digital catalogue of microorganisms that possess unique capabilities that are interesting for designing sustainable solutions for today’s problems. It acts as an educational and engagement tool for designers, scientists and engineers new to Biodesign as well as a facilitator for successful collaboration among these groups.

The aim of the collective is to address the many barriers for collaboration between these fields. For example; language, access to experts, understanding of design and scientific research process etc. and, to provide a platform for this cross-disciplinary work to be seen by industry bodies with opportunity for implementation into real world situations and access to funding.

This group will focus on photographing the microorganisms being used by students in design projects and creating special content and information pages about these microbes. All students involved in the group will be acknowledged and credited on the site to provide a platform to reach a wider audience and be seen as experts in the field of Biodesign. In addition to contributing to the open-source library, this group will provide peer-to-peer support for the development of our work in Biodesign and build a network of share contacts of experts in the field.

The work we will do in this Post-Grad group will be featured on a professional site alongside contributions from internationally leading scientific researchers and designers including Ryerson University and U of Windsor in Canada, Parsons University and U of Rochester in New York, University of Ghent in Belgium, The British Geological Survey, The Microbiology Society of UK and Canada, Imperial University in London and more. The intended audience ranges from BA/MA/PhD students and faculty in the UK, Europe and North America to a wider audience of industry professionals in Biodesign and industry bodies.

The core leaders of the group are Sarah Graham (recent grad MA Material Futures) and Molly Bonnell (recent grad MA Material Futures).

Weekly Meets:

We meet collectively once a week through zoom to share progress, set next week’s goals, and offer group support on projects.

Please email Sarah at to find out more about joining this collective! Open to all Post-Grad students across UAL that are interested in learning more about Biodesign or who are already working with living systems.

Post-Grad Interest Groups at UAL

A growing number of issue specific, cross-disciplinary interest groups led by postgraduate students and academics are supported by us.​

​These groups connect creatives with shared research interests across different subject areas.​