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What is the Future Made Of?

A speculative workshop about bio-inspired design

Think of nature as a great designer. Through billions of years of evolution – of design trial and error (or re-route) – it has come up with uniquely functional and beautiful materials.

Nature’s ‚design‘ is truly sustainable. It uses simple materials in clever ways, making natural materials sophisticated in structure and function. More than that, natural materials are part of a cycle of growth, decay, and change – no material is wasted.

Meanwhile, many human designs are wasteful and have created immense problems on a planetary scale. One of the biggest challenges for a sustainable future will be to find alternatives for the energy-consuming, non-degradable materials we use today.

What if we used nature’s ‚design‘ as inspiration for smarter and more sustainable materials in our everyday lives? What could such a bio-inspired world look like? CollActive Materials, together with the speculative designer Emilia Tikka, invites you to a hands-on speculation workshop. Find out how researchers from Matters of Activity and Science of Intelligence use bio-design in their work – and make up your very own version of a bio-inspired future.

CollActive Materials  is led by Léa Perraudin and Martin Mueller and a joint project of the Clusters of Excellence „Matters of Activity. Image Space Material“ and „Science of Intelligence“. The project is funded under the Excellence Strategy of the Federal Government and the Länder by the Berlin University Alliance.


This event will take place as part of the Berlin Science Week CAMPUS. Admission is free. Please reserve your one or two-day ticket here.

Please note: Pre-registration is requested for this event.  The event is now fully booked.

Information about the physical accessibility of the Museum für Naturkunde can be found here (see ‚experimental field‘ for exact location on the map). If you are looking for further information concerning accessibility or want to let us know about individual needs, please let us know at

Über den Veranstaltungsort
Invalidenstraße 43
Berlin, Berlin 10115 Germany

Emilia Tikka

Aalto University

Emilia Tikka is a transdisciplinary designer, artist, and researcher. Her work explores philosophical dimensions and cultural implications of contemporary biomedical technologies. Emilia`s artistic practice of speculative storytelling includes film, speculative design, and hands-on laboratory research. She is currently a PhD candidate at Aalto University, School of Arts, Design and Architecture in Helsinki Finland and an artist in residence in the 2-year EU project Art4med. Her artworks are exhibited internationally in museums, galleries, and film festivals.

Kristin Werner

CollActive Materials

Kristin Werner coordinates the Experimental Laboratory for Science Communication »CollActive Materials«. Within the project, she speculates with scientists and citizens about the role that active and intelligent materials might play in possible futures. As project manager and science communicator, she organizes the framework of the participatory project and tries out new formats to connect science and society.

John Nyakatura

Matters of Activity

John Nyakatura is a Zoology researcher with a background in Biology and Geography. His research group at Humboldt-University zu Berlin is exploring the interplay between morphology and function in vertebrates, as well as historic and epistemic aspects of image use. Within Matters of Activity, he works closely together with designers in the field of bio-inspired design.

Felix Rasehorn

Matters of Activity

Felix Rasehorn is an interaction designer and practice-based PhD candidate at Matters of Activity. With a background in design and prototyping of interactive experiences, he is interested in the production of knowledge through practice. In his doctoral studies, he approaches the convergences of models and prototypes in science, medicine, and design from an interaction point of view.

Apoorv Vaish is a researcher at the Robotics and Biology Laboratory, TU Berlin. His current research aims to incorporate the morphology and function of human hands into robots by co-designing the morphology and the control of a soft anthropomorphic robot hand. In previous roles, as CTO and Research Engineer, he has explored bio-inspired engineering and automated robotics through the lenses of design and fabrication.

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