Regina Schröter

Experimenting with “Living” Material

The “symbiotic cultures of bacteria and yeast” (= S.C.O.B.Y) in the kombucha tea produce a layer of cellulose to protect themselves from air for the anaerob fermentation process.
This bio-material grows by itself in layers, depending only on time and nutrients.

What triggered my interest for this material in the first place is the combination of disgust and fascination that all people express when they first come into contact with a so called “scoby”.

The materials holds the exciting ability to form both a very thin slimy layer and a thick almost flesh like stack of layers that are strongly grown together.

First try to grow the material:

The first scoby that i grew was unfortunatly too thin and unstable to make a nice circular shape.

Second try to grow the material:

Given that this material reminds me of human skin layers and out of sheer curiousity, i want to try putting the next grown layer on my face imitating a sheet mask that you can buy in stores to “hydrate” and treat your skin.

The face is a very intimate part of our bodies, putting something like this slimy material directly on your face in even more “daring” than just touching it.

You can argue about the actual benefits of face mask and beauty products in general, as they mostly create a routine of taking care of yourself. But the scoby really felt nice on my face, it instantly cooled and sticked to it.

Could such a product bring us humans closer to nature by a direct touchpoint on our face?


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