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STEAMhouse Online: Biobox Biomaterial Design Workshop

Tuesday, 15 December 2020
10 – 11.30 am


This four part workshop offers an introduction to material ecology and is suitable for those wanting to explore circular design, sustainable materials and new material development.

The drive for sustainable reform across industry is closely linked to the emerging fields of bio-design and material ecology. These cross-disciplinary practices are moving away from traditional, linear models of materials sourcing to one that embeds circular principles in order to develop new technologies and processes using alternative abundant raw materials.

Developed in collaboration with Materiom, the open-source material recipe platform, the workshop explores the potential of sustainable materials development. You will be encouraged to consider the materials you currently use and creatively explore how you can redesign them using the abundant waste streams found all around us.

The online programme will run over four weeks, and combines self-led materials research with live sessions where we will explore different areas related to materials development. Each participant will be sent a Biobox – a practical kit which includes everything you need to get started with bio-materials.

Sessions will be led by Sarah King (Senior Materials Science Technician, STEAMhouse), with contributions from Zoe Powell (Materiom).

Participants must be available to attend all sessions.

Session 1: Thursday 21 January, 10–11.30 am

Meet the group, get familiar with your box and learn more about the origins of materials with Zoe Powell.

Session 2: Thursday 28 January, 10–11.30am

Group catch-up, start to develop an understanding of circular design and its application within materials development, stage 2 task set.

Session 3: Thursday 4 February, 10–11.30am
Group catch up, review of progress and outcomes so far, start to consider feasibility and viability of new materials in relation to current practice/projects.

Session 4: Thursday 11 February, 10–11.30am
Group round up and final outcomes presented, future prospects and what next

How to Apply

This workshop is fully funded. To take part you must be an eligible SME – this means you must be registered as self-employed or have your own business and be based in England.

Spaces are very limited and we expect the workshop to be oversubscribed. To apply to take part please email the following information to by Tuesday 15 December.

1. If you are not already a STEAMhouse member, please introduce yourself and let us know what you do, and where you are based – including confirmation that you are self-employed or have your own business

2. A short expression of interest explaining why you want to take part in the workshop and how you think it will benefit your business. We are looking for participants who have a clear sense of how they might apply the knowledge they will gain.

Please write “Biobox Workshop” in the subject header.



What is STEAMhouse?

STEAMhouse is a space to experiment, test and develop new knowledge. At the project’s heart are five key principles conversation, exploration, collaboration, openness and newness.

Open since early 2018, the first phase of STEAMhouse was created by Birmingham City University in partnership with Eastside Projects and funded by the European Regional Development Fund and Arts Council England. It invited original business thinkers to collaborate and innovate, engaging with hundreds of SMEs in the Greater Birmingham & Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership area.

Phase 1.5 launched in April 2020 and is focussed on supporting businesses – which includes self-employed, sole trading artists – to access and explore the potential of digital technologies to help develop businesses, artworks, practices and creative services.

Find out more HERE