What Kent State projects are related to Biodesign areas?

Living Architecture and Novel Ecology Design Lab

Dr. Reid Coffman, Associate Professor of Architecture & Environmental Design, works with a variety of collaborators from Architecture and Biology to incorporate living organisms into architectural structures. They ask questions such as: How well can roof systems recover fragments of lost ecosystems, including rare species? Can the “waste” stream of river dredge be redirected for beneficial use as a growth substrate? Research and design projects are examining how native and rare plants can be used as indicators of the ecological potential in living architecture, and how living architecture can be optimized to support native biodiversity and ecosystem services.  More information: NEDlab, Symposium session, News article, Greater Ohio Living Architecture Center

In silico et in situ: mixes art with conservation

In silico et in situ digitally printed animal habitat

Margarita Benitez, Fashion Technologist + Associate Professor of The Fashion School, TechStyleLAB Director, and half of the collaborative artistic team //benitez_vogl, who take art out of the gallery to benefit the environment. In silico et in situ is an artistic research project creating site-specific installations through the use of 3D scanning and printing technology. The objective of the project is to design and build large scale, free standing outdoor sculptures that coexist as public art and wildlife habitats.  More information: http://benitezvogl.com/in-silico

Future Textiles and Healthy Homes

Elena Brebenel, Assistant Professor of The Fashion School, explores the possibility of developing interactive artifacts that inspire thought about our homes, the quality of air we breathe, and well-being. She asks how models in nature that are able to maintain a healthy habitat can be used to inform this challenge. This research underlines a new dimension of home as ‘smart’, a home that contributes to the health of its inhabitants by using an approach that mimics nature’s way of staying healthy.  More information: http://www.elenabrebenel.com/

Elena Brebenel Healthy Homes Biodesign piece


Students in an urban wetland

The Urban Wetland

Lauren Kinsman-Costello, Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences, studies the performance and design of urban wetlands. We have many expectations for functioning wetlands, including controlling stormwater, removing pollutants, and providing habitat. But this is challenged in the urban environment by disturbance, a legacy of soil contamination, and new sources of pollutants such as road salts. Her projects aim to engage the design process with scientific understanding and monitoring to create the most resilient, functioning wetlands. Design of urban wetlands.  More information: News Article, Symposium session

Optimizing water treatment with green algae

Qunxing Ding, Associate Professor of Biological Sciences, and collaborators are examining the abilities of edible green algae to clean organic pollutants from drinking water and surface water.  More information: Project seed-grant funding announcement

Cultured Pork

Jessica Krieger, Ph.D. student in Biological Sciences working with Dr. Min-Ho Kim, is developing improved methods to grow meat in the lab, rather than on the farm. It is thought that meat production through cell-culture should have a variety of benefits compared to livestock farming, including requiring less resources, creating less pollution, and reducing the threat of harmful microorganisms - as well as being more humane.  More information: Funding announcement

Micrograph images of cow and pig by Jess Krieger