Dr Ollie Cotsaftis, an Industry Fellow and lecturer in RMIT’s School of Design who led the studio, says he finds it rewarding to pass on his passion for biodesign to the next generation.
“This kind of work in biomaterials is at the forefront of design innovation, and industry is finally starting to take notice,” he said.
“Working at RMIT for the past five years has been rewarding as I’ve been able to research this area and also teach the next generation of designers how to think in this way.
“Years ago when I was first studying in architecture, I found the lack of sustainable practice in that field frustrating, so I shifted disciplines and completed a Master of Biotechnology as well as a PhD in genomics, before moving back to design.”
Cotsaftis said skills like biodesign and living architecture were becoming increasingly important.
“These bio-based practices allow us to grow our world rather than mining it to extract resources, and using biomass is a great way to be more sustainable in our approach to design and fabrication,” he said.
For this reason, Cotsaftis says he is pushing his students to focus on creating a real and practical difference.
“In this biodesign studio we’re not only looking at the practice of biodesign and biological approaches to design and fabrication, but we have a big focus on creating impact,” he said.
“ Wherever I can, I try and get the students’ projects to go beyond the life of the studio and ask them to think about how these concepts could work in industry.”
The Aegis project has now been selected to enter the People’s Choice Award for the 2021 Australia and New Zealand Circle Awards that celebrate moves towards a circular economy. Support the project by voting here.
Story: Kate Milkins