Founder and manager of Design School Koldings Lab for growing materials from Kombucha.
I investigate the possibilities and practical issues of growing Kombucha scobys for material harvesting. Kombucha is usually grown for its tasty drink made by growing a SCOBY (Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast) in tea, vinegar and sugar. In this process the SCOBY forms into a gelatinous substance on the surface of the drink. This substance consists of strands of cellulose ‘woven’ together in the growing process. When dried and put through different aftertreatments it can act like a new leather like material. I believe it has a huge, but yet undefined, potential to change the way we produce materials in the future. What if we could grow materials in finished sheets and skip several steps in the production value chain?
I have been growing, harvesting and treating kombucha SCOBYs at the Design School Kolding Kombucha BioMaterial Lab, which I founded during my master there. I set up a small ‘production’ of Kombucha material for experimentation and further development.