At the intersection between art, design and biotechnology, this research identifies the environmental impact of the color industry and creates the shift to a sustainable approach to color. Ecology of Colour develops ecological inks with pigments from microalgae on the one hand and a sustainable palette of structural colors on the other.
The wide spread of colour in our daily environment can give an idea of the size of the colour industry. In order to generate this colourful world from nature, exploitation of the matter is needed. Laboratorium, an experimental bio laboratory for art, design and biotechnology of KASK & Conservatorium, questions environmental issues and contextualises colour in contemporary art and design. This research identifies the environmental impact of the colour industry and creates the shift towards a sustainable approach to colour. The Ecology of Colour research by scientist Maria Boto and designer Heleen Sintobin focuses on new applications and techniques in traditional colour production. On the one hand, Ecology of Colour develops sustainable pigments from microalgae and applies them to different materials (paper, textiles, bioplastic) and via different techniques (screen printing, digital printing, painting, 3D printing). On the other hand, Ecology of Colour analyses structural colours found in nature. Structural colours are obtained from biological nanostructures that can interfere with light. These structures are often constructed from simple biological building blocks, such as cellulose, chitin, keratin and melanin. They are biomaterials that are common in nature, biodegradable and non-toxic. Using nanotechnology, Laboratorium cultivates an ecological and sustainable colour palette of structural colours.
Laboratorium, an experimental bio laboratory for art, design and biotechnology of KASK &
Conservatorium, the school of arts of HOGENT and Howest in Ghent, is an interdisciplinary
research site where there are bridges between science, technology, arts and