“Mothers of pearl” is an installation which transforms the human breath into a crystal of pearl, resulting over the course of weeks in a pearl jewellery.
In Nature, pearls grow inside of pearl oyster by the accumulation of a substance called calcium carbonate crystal around a template inserted in the oyster. The beautiful nature of the pearls comes from the many layers of calcium carbonate crystals
Designer and material scientist Jun Kamei at the Royal College of Art mimicked this natural process to design the “Mothers of pearl”, an installation which transforms the human breath into a crystal of pearl, resulting over the course of weeks in a pearl jewellery.
By blowing the human breath into a liquid containing 3 ingredients - calcium hydroxide, magnesium chloride and poly acrylic acid - the carbon dioxide contained in our breath is captured and turned into a thin calcium carbonate crystal, in other word a thin layer of pearl. Different templates can be used to grow the pearl on, such as curved woods, leaves and fine petals from flowers.
The accumulation of these pearl layers creates a jewellery piece with specific textures by repeating the process. The result is “Mothers of Pearl”, where the nurtured pearl contains the exhaled carbon dioxide which came from our body, which means that it is made with the same atom as our body. This project aims to question our relationship with objects and hack our perception of value, when the pearl jewellery becomes a physical history of our life.
Video by Houmi Sakata
Mothers of Pearl
Embyo on Mars
Terraforming Mars is no longer a future possibility but has become a current opportunity. The EMBYO project speculates about the possibility of terraformingMars using synthetic biology with the goal of creating a symbiotic relationship between humans and their new surroundings.
The EMBYO is a functional biofilm that transform itself into a habitable biological architecture once it lands on the surface of Mars. In 2050, the first EMBYO is sent from Earth, containing the necessary nutrients and microorganisms to create localized bubbles of life.
Once the EMBYO lands on the equatorial surface of mars, the microorganism transform nutrients into carbon dioxide to inflate the EMBYO aiding it to grow until it reaches a level of stasis. Then, the colony of cyanobacteria contained in the film starts photosynthesizing oxygen from the produced carbon dioxide. Finally, the bacteria cellulose strengthen the structure and binds the EMBYO to the Martian soil to hold the nutrients for further growth.
25 years later, manned missions to mars with the goal of setting up new communities can use the framework that has been laid out by the EMBYOs.
Bringing engineered BYOs, small cultures of modified microorganisms that can symbiotically interact with the EMBYO – providing the necessary resources for human habitation.
The BYOs can exist from cultures that provide food as modified spirulina, to bioluminescent bacteria that are assimilated into the EMBYO. Living symbiotically in this Autotropic Community.
Project with Aaron Koshny, Yuchen Zhou and Sandra Atakora
Sensorium is a cross-disciplinary project bridging art and science and creating collaborations across a variety of different faculties of Imperial College London. It is an immersive environment exploring the complexity of scientific pursuit that students of this institution face during their studies. The journey of an individual is conveyed in the mysterious and unfamiliar setting with the spectacular interactive piece at the end. Exploring the path through shadows of unknown to the final reveal, the visitor gains a unique insight of combined engineering, science and design.
Project with the Imperial College Advanced Backspace and the Dyson School of Engineering.
Having bubbles in your tubes can be a nightmare. Air bubbles in microfluid systems cause flaws in the liquid flow and can kill the nurtured cells in the lab on a chip. Air bubbles in medical instruments can be very dangerous if it is connected to your vein. And finally, air bubbles in spacecrafts engines can cause huge loss in the engine property and damage it.
For this research, I created an ultra-bubble repellent coating for tubing in microfluids, medical instruments and spacecraft engines inspired from the nanostructures and the chemical property of fish skin. The work has been published in an academic research paper and patented.
This project was done under the supervision of assistant professor Yabu Hiroshi at Tohoku University.
Electronic tattoo and smart contact lenses are predicted to be the next generation of smart devices.
In this research, I created a transparent, flexible and stretchable electronic that work as an electronic tattoo and as electrodes in smart contact lenses. The work has been published in an academic research paper and patented.
This research was undergone under the supervision of assistant professor Yabu Hiroshi at the Tohoku University in collaboration with the Nishizawa research group.
Stanley Pepper Mill
As part of the "I' ll take 9" module at IDE, we have created the simplest one hand held pepper grinder for Stanley. The project reimagined unlikely combination of brand and product, inviting us to reach this gap through creative thinking and thinking by making. 9 identical products were also created using cast molding techniques as part of the project.
Project with Eun Kyoung Shin and Andrew Slack.
MUSICAL RIVER - NEO NO NEIRO - is an interactive installation which transforms the river of Neo village in Gifu prefecture into an interactive musical instrument. Inspired by the way music box makes music, we placed some musical sensors in the river during the traditional lantern festival.
Each of the sensor plays a different note when a lantern passes nearby, creating a harmonious musical piece depending on where the lanterns are floating. Visitors who come to the Neo village can collectively create a musical piece by letting their lantern go with the flow.
Project by KAMEI Jun, MAYAPIT Gay Wryneth, NUGUYEN Mai and PUNDA Praichayon At the Hack The World Summer Workshop in IAMAS in collaboration with the Japan Foundation.
MUSICAL RIVER - NEO NO NEIRO
A Wild Chair
In this project, I explored the possibility of creating a wild chair, mid-creature mid-chair.
Like a wild sea creature with a shell, the chair is closed and reveals hostile spikes on its surface allowing nobody to sit on. The architecture opens up by reversing the surface inside out and reveals the structure of the chair just like a blooming flower.
The design of the chair was decided through drawing and making, involving origami techniques and 1:1 prototyping with cardboards. The final chair was made from twin wall polycarbonate plates and assembled without using any joints.
Rock’em Drum’em arcade uses two drumsets as interfaces for a Rock’em Sock’em boxing arcade. The footpedals are connected to the punching motion and the snare drum activates the swaying motion of the boxing robots accordingly. The result is a very fun arcade where two players play on the drum in order to fight each other with the boxing robots.
Rock’em Drum’em was built as part of Gizmo Arcade, a project to develop mechanical engineering skills.
Project with Nathan Chang.
Lathitha Wine Taster Box
We worked with wine seller Sheila Hlonga from the township of Cape Town, South Africa.
Sheila is a passionate entrepreneur with a social mission to promote responsible drinking in a community where binge drinking is common among the youth.
Inspired from her knowledge and passion for wine tasting, we co-designer a portable wine tasting kit for her wine brand "Lathitha", that works in both exhibition display and in her wine shop. The tasting kit is composed by severeal parts inviting the customer to look, smell, touch and taste the wine. The design language was inspired from Sheila's story as a black female wine seller of the township of Langa.
In collaboration with Sam Roots, Jacob Boast, Roland Perold and Siyamthanda Myataza
The Last Letter From My Toaster
The evolution of white goods over the years propose a future that is connected and more efficient. At the same time, matters of sustainability and combating pollution are yet to be looked at in a way that direct us towards a probable solution. Speculations suggest that home appliances will be connected and there will be a good amount of data that will flow between their users, manufacturers and them.
Building upon this notion of connectivity and intelligence, ‘The last letter from my toaster’ is a project that looks beyond the conventions of modern appliances. The idea is to have an intelligent enough toaster that senses its breaking point and prepares the last toast for its master printing out a letter thereby leaving it behind as it makes its way out of the house to go back to its manufacturer. Project in collaboration with Pratik Ghosh