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MilieuxMake Workshop: Cooking and Culturing Colour

2022-03-22 @ 00:00

MilieuxMake Workshop Series presents
Creating compostable dyes from food waste and bacteria
By Vanessa Mardirossian, with Alexandra Bachmayer

DATES: March 15, 22, 29, & 31, from 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM EST
HYBRID — Milieux Speculative Life BioLab AND online via Zoom

In this four-part hybrid workshop, we will develop dyes extracted from food waste and derived from bacteria. Through this creation process, we will explore and discuss themes of sustainability, minimal waste and re-use, and the environmental impact of our explorations. We will introduce participants to basic lab protocols, alternative ‘eco-friendly’ lab methodologies, and adapted techniques for safe ‘at-home’ lab work as well.  Specifically, participants will learn to dye textiles with food waste and with bacteria; and how to modulate colors and grow patterns, through a variety of basic lab techniques including the preparation of a liquid culture, the preparation of agar plates, streaking plates, and the safe use of the bactincinorator and autoclave.

This workshop is open to members of all Milieux research clusters and groups. Registration is required! Please email your interest or any questions to Alexandra Bachmayer via the left-hand column button with ‘Colour Workshop’ in the subject line.

Participants will be invited to break into 4 groups, and 1 person from each group will be permitted onsite in the lab for each session, while the rest participate via Zoom. In order to give everyone the chance for a hands-on experience the maximum participants for this workshop will be 12, allowing for groups of no more than 3, depending on registration numbers. Please note: the workshops will be filmed onsite and via Zoom for educational & documentation purposes.

Vanessa Mardirossian is a textile designer and worked in fashion for 20 years before starting her PhD. She was driven to return to school after learning about the ecological impact of her industry. Vanessa had already been working with food waste natural dyeing — including onion, avocado, tea, and black bean — and after researching bacterial dyes with the Bactinctorium, she became interested in how she could merge these different techniques.

Over the course of this research, she has created different bacterial liquid cultures from food waste and has tested various fibres in an attempt to expand the colour palette. This workshop is based on her PhD research, The Culture of Color: An Ecoliteracy of Textile Design. 

Vanessa’s project and workshop are supported by the Sustainability Action Fund (SAF), who granted her an award to promote sustainability within the Concordia community.

The Sustainability Action Fund is a student run fee levy group at Concordia University. Their mission is to build an inclusive culture of sustainability at Concordia University by enabling, supporting, and financing projects that tackle interconnected environmental, social, and economic issues.


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