Normal Phenomena of Life is the world’s first biodesign-native lifestyle brand of its kind, creating and platforming beautiful products made and grown with groundbreaking biotechnologies. A joint creation between Faber Futures, our long-term partner Ginkgo Bioworks, graphic design agency Studio Airport, and the impact network of other brilliant collaborators and suppliers, NPOL fuses design, biotechnology, craft and storytelling to generate new ecosystems for a bioeconomy that nurtures a purposeful material culture for a planet-first lifestyle.
A pipeline for a systemic and design-led material as well as product innovation, supported by brand partnerships and collaborations, NPOL aspires to be a premier destination for discovering exciting advancements in consumer biotechnology and their environmental, social and cultural impact across various lifestyle product categories. By connecting the dots between lab-based innovation and implementation through design-led consumer products, it serves as critical infrastructure to an evolving biotechnology industry.
Organism-centred & system-led products
NPOL research and development focuses on holistic biotech-enabled product innovation, while reimagining and implementing transformative frameworks that create the conditions for transitioning from a purely industrial logic for biotechnology to one inherently bio-centric:
“Could we use synthetic biology to create a fashion industry that sends nothing to landfill, or to capture waste heat from the server centres amassing ever-increasing numbers of zeros and ones? Can we work with organic processes to create equitable supply chains that restore local craft industries with new biotechnological modes of production? The answer is yes. Absolutely. A truly radical bio-industrial revolution will see the line between pastoral farmlands, biological foundries, and industrial factories completely blurred. And in this new revolution, biology becomes both the creator and constrainer of scale, empowering everyone on the planet to live well, within planetary boundaries.”
– An extract from ‘The Original Technology’, by James Cartwright, as part of NPOL Journal, 2023.
Consumer product innovation for biotech-enabled materials
At the heart of NPOL products are Originals, unique limited releases from microbial-dyed garments to artist edition prints and more to come, embracing innovation across scales: from the organism to the culture in which it exists. These are beta tests for new applications and supply chains developed through the product innovation pipeline to bring promising biotech-enabled materials to a wider public.
Alongside the Originals, NPOL features curated products—existing consumer biotechnology innovations, including skincare, and print publications— demonstrating the platform’s commitment to showcasing the emerging critical mass of innovators in the field, whose solutions are set to change the way we make products and do business moving forwards.
Designing for living economies
Decarbonising and healing the planet require us to go beyond choosing low-impact materials and processes. Putting biology at the heart of the goods we make, the supply chains we build, and the economies we choose to scale represents NPOL’s multifaceted approach towards creating empowered access and ways to accelerate “living with biology”. Beyond each beautifully crafted product are real people and relationships that bind them, which are at the heart of the brand’s efforts to create foundations for restorative supply chains and purposeful consumption.
NPOL’s community-driven ethos is born out of knowledge and process sharing between designers, biologists, engineers, materials scientists, manufacturers, and other practitioners whose disciplines have yet to be named. NPOL explores this groundbreaking potential through its online Journal—a space to dive deep into the emergent world of biodesign and to reconnect the NPOL community with new thinking and philosophies on the living world. Its manifesto and context-defining glossary pay tribute to the inherent wisdom of the living world while demonstrating the nuances of ethically-driven practices across industries and scales of impact.
Creating an integrated, system-level innovation framework to bring advanced biomanufacturing to market has been our northstar at NPOL. To prototype alternative models that create the conditions for a resilient and circular bioeconomy accelerated by biotechnology, one requires the freedom to imagine radical experimentation. The deep work lies in making the speculative real: aligning the brand’s vision and values with product efficacies and claims while responding ambitiously and seriously to climate and human development goals. NPOL is setting in motion its long-term mission of nurturing a planet-first lifestyle.
Studio Airport, Brand Design & Direction
September Digital, Web Development
Louie Zeegan, Writer
Laura Vent, Brand Consultant
Dal Chodha, Consultant
Kelvyn Smith, Designer
Louise Bennetts, Designer
Mitre & Mondays, Manufacturer
I Dress Myself, Manufacturer
BioMason, Material Innovator
Living Ink, Material Innovator
Mbeu, Material Innovator
StoneCycling, Material Supplier
Offset Warehouse, Material Supplier
Herbar, Partner Brand
Ayana Zaire Cotton, Transdisciplinary Artist
PR & Editorial
James Cartwright, Writer & Editor
Toby Coulson, Photographer
Oliver Weguelin, Photography Assistant
Balans Evans, Videographer
Immaters Studio, Videographer
Handover Studios, Studio Photography
Liedwij Merckx, Styling
Marly van der Bosch, HMA
Republic Men, Model Agency
The Fashion Composers, Model Agency
Atlantis, Model Agency
Bame, Model Agency