Ars Electronica with projects by Youyang Song (CN/DE); Milena Stavrić (AT), Julian Jauk (AT), Hana Vašatko (AT) and Lukas Gosch (AT); Naifactory Lab (ES); Diana Scherer (DE/NL).

Curatorial Context

This project focuses on the role of next-generation materials as the basis for new patterns of production and consumption. More sustainable and socially responsible manufacturing must be an absolute priority, especially while resource scarcity and poor working conditions remain a reality. Further, instead of relying on manufactured products, individuals could be empowered to produce more themselves.

Artwork Statement

Current materials research is exploring intelligent synthetic fabrics and other materials that can adapt to changing conditions at the same time as supporting ecological standards and the pursuit of a circular economy. This could spell the end of a 'take-make-dispose' approach as one of the main pillars of our society.

As such, waste would become a valuable source of next-generation materials. Minimising waste in general and maximising the lifespan and utility of materials would provide a basis for resource-efficient systems. Innovation would lead to the rediscovery, reuse and repurposing of familiar materials. Additionally, this project highlights the importance of citizen science and community involvement, as well as a collaborative approach that fosters engagement and awareness.

The MaterialLab shelf system showcases samples of innovative material for you to view and the video documentary offers a deeper understanding of these materials. Engage your senses and get a feel for what the future holds.


Youyang Song (CN/DE)

Food waste such as banana and orange peel receives a second life in PEELSPHERE: a completely biodegradable and truly circular material made from fruit waste and algae, using advanced material engineering. An aesthetically pleasing and versatile material, it is designed as an alternative to real and synthetic leather.

Artist Bio

Youyang Song (CN/DE) is a Berlin-based textile designer who is dedicated to developing a viable ecosystem of biodegradable products. With a focus on an eco-friendly approach and zero waste, Song strives to create a viable and environmentally conscious business model.

Reolivar (Earth/Air)

Naifactory Lab (ES)

Reolivar is an organic, compostable, reusable biomaterial made from olive pits and natural binders.
Reolivar Earth has a wood-like appearance and a ceramic texture. It can be poured into moulds to produce complex shapes without waste.
Reolivar Air is more lightweight and translucent, more like plastic in appearance. It can be produced to meet various needs in terms of rigidity or flexibility and colour.

Artist Bios

Joseán Vilar (ES) and Silvana Catazine (BR) are the co-founders of Naifactory Lab, a transdisciplinary creative studio specialising in ecodesign strategies and sustainable solutions that serve as a basis for promoting the circular economy within the creative industries.


Diana Scherer (DE/NL)

In her ongoing research project Interwoven, Diana Scherer cultivates plant roots to grow into intricate structures as the basis for 3D textiles. Once the roots have been trained to assume a certain form, she removes them from the soil and trims away the plant stems. Although the pieces produced are not yet wearable, they fuel hopes for a more sustainable future of fashion.

Artist Bio

Diana Scherer (DE/NL) is a visual artist whose practice combines botany, material research and sculpture. Interwoven started as an art project driven by an intuitive approach and has since evolved into innovative material research, in collaboration with biologists and engineers from TU Delft and Radboud University Nijmegen.


Milena Stavrić (AT), Julian Jauk (AT), Hana Vašatko (AT) and Lukas Gosch (AT)

MyCera is a sustainable building material made from clay, sawdust and mycelium. With the use of 3D-printing technology, it can be formed into complex and lightweight brick-like shapes consisting of hollow chambers filled with a blend of organic substrate and the vegetative part of fungi, mycelium.

Artist Bios

Milena Stavrić (AT), Julian Jauk (AT), Hana Vašatko (AT) and Lukas Gosch (AT) are an interdisciplinary group of researchers from the Institute of Architecture and Media at University of Graz, Austria.


Milena Stavrić (AT), Julian Jauk (AT), Hana Vašatko (AT) and Lukas Gosch (AT)

Felix is a module that has been developed both as an autonomous form, and to stack up to create a column or pillar. As such, it can be used to create new spaces while retaining a visually distinctive aesthetic of its own. In addition, its tube-like structure allows it to be filled with a substrate that is inoculated with mycelium. The living material acts as a binding agent and connects the stacked modules to create one solid piece. 

Artist Bios

Milena Stavrić (AT), Julian Jauk (AT), Hana Vašatko (AT) and Lukas Gosch (AT) are an interdiscipli-nary group of researchers from the Institute of Architecture and Media at University of Graz, Aus-tria.