• Exhibition

New Silk - What Can We Learn From Spiders?

  • Fashion and textile design
  • Sustainability
Sep 5, Thu 08:00-21:00
Sep 6, Fri 08:00-20:00
Sep 7, Sat 09:00-17:00
Sep 9, Mon 08:00-21:00
Sep 10, Tue 08:00-21:00
Sep 11, Wed 08:00-21:00
Sep 12, Thu 08:00-21:00
Sep 13, Fri 08:00-20:00
Sep 14, Sat 09:00-17:00
Otaniementie 14
Event type
Free Admission
Accessibility for all

‘The New Silk’ research project studies new ways of producing sustainable materials in the future, especially how to produce new types of silk-like materials in the context of synthetic biology. The project team consists of scientists, material researchers and design researchers with textile expertise.

The goal is in the far future: how to design and produce material attributes at the DNA level through genetic engineering. The original inspiration for this project was a spider’s way of creating materials for its web using ‘spider silk’, a luxurious and sustainable material with properties that surpass existing synthetic materials. Collaboration between design and fundamental material science offers new tools to create and communicate alternative possibilities in the future. Throughout the project, the designers have been inspired by synthetic biology, trying to imagine what these new designed and engineered materials mean for the future.

In this exhibition, three textile designers who are also members of ‘The New Silk’ research team have explored artistic ideas and thoughts which have been raised during the project.

Location: Väre, FK Lobby
Open: 5-26 September 2019

This research project is a collaboration between Aalto University and University of Helsinki, and is part of the BioFuture25 programme by the Academy of Finland.

Working group: Pirjo KääriäinenKirsi Niinimäki and Pirita Lauri, Department of Design at Aalto University, Markus LinderLaura Lemetti, Teemu Välisalmi, Maria Sammalkorpi and Sousa JavanNikkhah, School of Chemical Engineeringat Aalto University, Sami Hirvonen and Erno Karjalainen, University of Helsinki. Invited visitor designer Meri Zirkelbach, Lucerne School of Art and Design, Switzerland.

Contact: kirsi.niinimaki@aalto.fipirjo.kaariainen@aalto.fi

This exhibition is part of Aalto University’s Designs for a Cooler Planet exhibition ensemble at Otaniemi.
More info: bit.ly/acoolerplanet

Aalto University Otaniemi: Designs for a Cooler Planet

Aalto University Otaniemi: Designs for a Cooler Planet

More information


Subscribe to the Helsinki Design Weekly newsletter

Helsinki Design Weekly is an online design publication presenting timely phenomena in the field of design and raises discussion about the future of the industry bolstered by top writers on the front lines.