BacterioChromic

Published Paper at

DIS 2019

Project Date

March 2018


A pattern-changing
piece of wall-art

BacterioChromic, an actuating wall-art, changes its patterns in response to bacteria in the surrounding space as means of ubiquitous interaction with the environment.

This prototype speculates how future interior spaces can be dynamic and adaptive, not necessarily for structural/ functional purposes, but for revealing the hidden and visualizing the unseen.

Accordingly, BacterioChromic visualizes the unseen interaction between people and the microscopic members of our ecology. The motivation behind it is the fact that bacteria do adapt themselves to the environment by developing antimicrobial resistance to our treatment drugs as their means to survive. Yet, we still lack the awareness, knowledge and actions required to such rise in antimicrobial resistance.

Designing adaptive and `living’ architecture that responds to such environmental stimuli is key to help raising people’s awareness in both public and private spaces.

Using Thermochromic pigments and fabrics, BacterioChromic changes its computational data-driven patterns (inspired from the bacterial growth patterns and dissemination paths on a surface) designed on the wall-art showing the changes in amount and risk of growing resistant bacteria in the environment. BacterioChromic visualizes real-time data of antimicrobial resistance in different areas across the UK, in an aesthetic form as an ambient display i.e. part of the interior space.

When displayed in the Lakeside Arts Gallery, as part of the interactive residential corner of the 'Living with Adaptive Architecture' Exhibition, it received interesting feedback and huge engagement from members of the public visiting the exhibition who got to interact with the touch-sensitive colour-changing and shape-changing wall-artwork.