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The Slime Mold Network

by Tahiya Hossain

Can we use slime mold as a design tool?

biodesign

community

textile print

sustainable fashion

creative tool

About the project:

The Slime Mold Network is a designers’ tool to showcase methods of designing with slime mold alongside a supplementary project called ‘slime palette’ where I explore this superorganism’s ability to print on textiles. The culture is grown in different color mediums to create a palette of prints. This project focuses on the ability of this organism to absorb into different dyed colors and grow.

  
The visual aspects are shown through agar-plated art and textiles and through an immersive web experience at theslimemoldnetwork.com

 

Slime Mold

There are over 900+ species around the world that can be found anywhere. I was able to collect three different species from the Philippines, France, and the United States that allowed me to experiment with different colors and textures in growth.

  
The slime mold was grown at room temperature with nutrient agar and oats during the initial experiments. 

Unknown Brown sp. (from the Philippines)  Badhamia Vulgaris (from France)   Physarum Polycephalum (local common slime mold, from US).  

Final slime mold print grown on silk.

Natural dye palette.

Green slime pattern

growing on silk

Pink slime pattern

growing on silk

Blue slime pattern

growing on silk

 

Materials

I created 15 different palettes of pattern through reds, greens, and blues – grow slime mold onto silk on a 9mm petri dish. The results showed variations in color, vibrancy, and intricacy. The depth of color absorbed through slime mold allowed for an artistically driven collection of silk prints.  

100% silk sourced from local vendor in London with natural dyed palettes for slime mold.

Swabbing sample of Physarum Polycephalum sp.

 

Acknowledgments

 

Special thank you to Veena Vijayakumar and Daniel Grushkin from BDC for being my long-time mentors, colleagues and friends through my biodesign journey since 2018. A huge thank you to Genspace NYC for supporting my first workshop to showcase the SMN to the next generation of designers worldwide. Thank you to all the risk-takers, shape shifters, designers, and creative thinkers who are making our world a better place.   

 

Tahiya Hossain

As a 'biodesigner', I'm still defining the term as it fits my approach. I'm deeply invested in making the fashion industry a more ethical place. To play my part within it, I've found biodesign to be a tool and mindset which could help to solve our deepest problems and issues in our most polluted industry. Fashion goes beyond glamour. Not many people understand the silent sweats and tears that go behind the garment industry as we speak. I believe biodesign can be a way to shape myself as a fashion designer to think differently about how we create our future designs, materials, and textiles.