Living artefacts for regenerative ecologies

E. Karana*, H.L. McQuillan, Valentina Rognoli, Elisa Giaccardi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Introduced in 2020, the notion of living artefacts encompasses biodesign outcomes that maintain the vitality of organisms such as fungi, algae, bacteria, and plants in the use of everyday artefacts, enabling new functions, interactions, and expressions within our daily lives. This paper situates living artefacts at the intersection of the sustainability discourse and more-than-human ontologies, illuminating the unprecedented opportunities that living artefacts present for regenerative ecologies. These ecologies are characterized by a fundamental inclination toward mutualism, creativity, and coevolution. In regenerative ecologies, the human-nature relationship transcends the binary distinction and it manifests as a single autopoietic system in which the constituent members collaboratively engage in the creation, transformation, and evolution of shared habitats. The paper outlines five pillars, supplemented by guiding questions and two illustrative cases, to aid designers in unlocking, articulating, and critically evaluating the potential of living artefacts for regenerative ecologies.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere16
Number of pages10
JournalResearch Directions: Biotechnology Design
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Living artefacts
  • regenerative ecologies
  • sustainability
  • more-than-human
  • biodesign


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