hydroCotton grow radically sustainable cotton. Cotton is commonly known as the world’s dirtiest crop, having a tremendous environmental and social impact on our planet. hydroCotton are using the lab to research and develop the technology to grow cotton reducing the volume of water and fertiliser used by up to 80%. They will also look to tackle problems of pesticide usage and the lack of transparency throughout the supply chain.
Sakura Greens is a urban farming enterprise aiming to grow microgreens, microherbs and produce a range of grow kits for homes. Founded by Dhiresh Tailor in early 2019 as a means to growing and delivering a wide range of nutritious greens locally, thus reducing food miles. Sakura Greens’ vision is to make fresh greens accessible to people of all incomes by using efficient, low-maintenance hydroponic systems and by utilising education to show people how to grow their own.
Square Mile Farms
Square Mile Farms are using the lab to develop there concept of an urban farm network to offer ultra-fresh, delicious and nutritious produce directly to customers. Utilising technology and a platform that enables them to rapidly install controlled environment farms in multiple locations in the heart of the city, within a square mile of there customers. There mission is to make food production sustainable, nutritious and local again, empowering communities in the process.
Hannah Cameron is a designer-maker with a love for 3D printing. Initially having trained as an architectshe now runs workshops, inductions and events around rapid prototyping, mostly at Eagle Labs. She regularly does stand up comedy and is taking a show to Edinburgh Fringe Festival this year entirely about 3D printing! Hannah is working with Green Lab and collaborating with chefs to build a printer that will print with food and other ingredients.
GrowUp Community Farms
GrowUp Community Farms engage, educate and inspire communities about sustainable food production and help people make informed decisions about the food they buy and eat. They produce sustainable fresh fish, salads and herbs in cities using a combination of aquaponic and vertical growing technologies. They’ve joined the lab to install aquaponics installations in the space. They will also be hosting aquaponics workshops and training courses in the lab.
Helene is a writer and editor on food, agriculture and social justice. Currently she is coordinator at ARC2020, editor of a book on grassroots agroecology projects and co-director of the London Freedom Seed Bank. Her work focuses on seed sovereignty, agroecology, (urban) food justice, experimental and participatory policymaking and art-science collaborations for expanding the reach and potential of the food movement.
The Urban Researcher
Ed is a researcher in science communication, focusing specifically in the field of urban ecology and human relationships with the natural world in cities. His aims are to help build greater empathy and understanding of the natural world. He also works as a researcher for businesses within the AgroTech industry. Currently working on multiple projects with a focus on hydroponic systems and material research.
Anoushka is a maker, material researcher and illustrator. With a focus on slow design she crafts materials from wasted resources with a view to question our concept of value. Anoushka is working on multiple projects within the lab including developing our material lab and library and working as a researcher for the OD&M project. She also works as an illustrator creating print work and develops material concepts for material research.
Greenshoots Aquaponics is a commercial urban vertical farm concept by Satya Narayan based in our Wetlab. The aim is to profitably grow healthy, chemical free and locally grown salad greens, micro-greens and shoots. The farm is based on a sustainable and resource friendly model of recirculating Aquaculture and hydroponics (aquaponics) that uses fish waste as natural fertilizer for growing plants indoors under LED lighting (using renewable energy to reduce carbon footprint).
George is a maker/coder and electrical contractor. His focus is on developing reliable, cost effective and elegant automation and monitoring solutions for growing systems. He is currently designing an automated fish feeder for an aquaponics system that integrates with standard plumbing pipes. By clearly documenting the steps required to automate and monitor growing systems he will be providing a publicly available guide that anyone can apply to their own system regardless of their level of technical expertise.
Silly Greens was founded by Edward Hall who is using the lab to experiment with his growing technique and find the perfect method to produce his microgreens. His ethos is simple – helping people to access and grow their own microgreens, allowing them to dress up any home cooked meal. Delivered straight to your door packed in a box small enough to fit through your letter box he provides a hassle free and easy way for you to grow at home.
Current research residents
Riina is a designer and maker of hand-crafted leather gloves and a material researcher currently pursuing her Masters of Arts in Material Futures at Central St. Martins UAL. During her Lab residency Riina will be researching a biological leather substitute grown from Kombucha SCOBY. With many alternative leathers commonly made from oil based materials she is hoping to make a replacement material that is sustainable and can be easily produced without creating waste. She is keen to test and apply her alternative leather to fashion accessories.
Valentina is a material designer & researcher pursuing her Masters in Textiles at the Royal College of Art. For her residency she is exploring the possibilities of mycelium and its surface applications. Experimenting with various substrates and fungi species, with an aim to achieve colorful surfaces, which are completely compostable at the end of their life span. Utilising concepts of circular economy, her focus is on designing with waste as well as using it as a pigment to dye and finish her materials. Her designs could be applicable for a range of purposes from interiors to products and transportation.
Midushi is a product designer and material researcher who is pursuing her master’s degree in Industrial Design at Central Saint Martins UAL. During her residency at the lab Midushi will be exploring sustainable materials derived from both the sea and wasteful everyday resources translating these into commercial products. She is experimenting with agar- agar, chitosan, eggshells and waste from food processing. Her products will attempt to tackle our growing single-use plastic problem, designing functional objects such as disposable cutlery.
Andreea studied Architecture and is using her lab residency to conduct research across the disciplines of biology and robotics to create growing, responsive and programmable architectural objects. Her current research is searching for ways to successfully print growing bio matter in gel mediums. During her residency she is prototyping a robot arm optimised to extrude organics and experimenting with bio materials that are capable of hosting plant growth for use with digital fabrication.
Ana Jaramillo lead our project ‘Tasty Natives’ with Grow Wild UK and Kew Gardens. Focusing on community engagement, the project encouraged people to get more involved with native edible species in the UK and raise awareness of where their food comes from. Ana hosted a series of workshops and events to discover exactly what we can grow here and how to incorporate these foods into wonderful recipes. The project will culminate in a crowd sourced digital recipe and guide book highlighting how to utilise these easily grown natives.
Sneha Solanki spent her research residency working on ‘The MICRO_FOOD library’ – a project aiming to bring microbial transformers from our food systems into focus as a library of micro-organisms. Missing and un-credited bacteria, yeasts & fungus often provide complex flavour profiles, nutrition & intoxication. Although their hard-work is enjoyed by many they often go unnoticed. Her project aims to encourage a ‘D.I.Y’ (Do It Yourself), D.I.T.O (Do It Together) or ‘D.I.W.O’s (Do It With Others) approach to culturing, consuming and engaging with this integral element from our food landscape.
Gut Face moved into the Lab to continue developing their fermentation vessel ‘The Brinery’ whilst they were taking part in the Design Councils Spark programme. Ahreum Jung, Marie Tricaud and Bassam Huneidi met when they were studying Innovation Design & Engineering at the RCA and Imperial College. They want to bring fermentation back to being an everyday part of our lives, pairing their handy vessel with a digital guide that delivers a centralised service using machine learning to track the user’s ferment over time and suggest new recipes based on their preferences.
Paige Perillat Piratoine
Paige’s ambition is that one day cities will be made of organic or living materials. She envisions urban-ecologies of harvest-able landscapes and breathing infrastructure. For her residency at Green Lab she focused on growing cordyceps militaris fungus on spent brewery grain. With the hope to demonstrate the feasibility of an urban biocycle: turning organic waste into a London based micro-medicinal mushroom farm.
Entocycle joined the lab to build the first fully automated black soldier fly farm in our wetlab. Founded by Keiran Whitaker the team grew from 3 to 16 people during their time here. Continuing their journey to develop an innovative feed company – they are creating an advanced and sustainable system using black soldier flies to transform organic waste from farmers, food processors and wholesalers into multiple valuable products, surpassing current waste processing alternatives.
Bento Lab is a DNA analysis laboratory kit created by Bethan Wolfenden and Philipp Boeing of Bento Bio. It’s the first affordable DNA analysis kit available to both those working in the field but also schools for education purposes and the inquisitive minds. Whilst residents of the lab they were working with their small team on getting their first product to market. Having successfully raised £152,000 on kickstarter they were in the process of completing their first production run and had successfully completed beta testing.
Algaceuticals produce sustainable oils and chemicals derived from microalgae at a scale that is more cost effective than any alternative. This has a wide number of applications including dietary supplements, medical treatments, industrial pigments & skin care. They form part of the UCL research initiative and a small team were occupying our wetlab to continue research. Whilst building a profitable company they have also created Algae Wiki, a database to share research and knowledge they have developed, creating an open-source branch of the company.
Lorenzo Barbasetti di Prun
Lorenzo is a chef and founder of Prometheus_Lab, an open food lab developing a format for the exploration and regeneration of remote places now operating in the Dolomites of Veneto, Italy. His focuses are supporting resilience through food exploration, collecting, generating and distributing knowledge about edibles. Lorenzo’s residency aim was to set a basis for a network of labs working in different environments around the world.
Jon Katona was our resident Kombucha specialist during his time at the lab. After spending his first 6 months perfecting his brewing technique and flavour combinations Jon launched Kompassion and took his booch to market. You can find his booch bicycle bars at farmers markets across the city most weekends and he is now scaling up his production with the aim to get his booch into shops.