Think Like A Cell: The Secrets of Biodesign, Today at Apple, 2019.

Today at Apple: “Think Like a Cell: The Secrets of Biodesign”

By Magdalena Obmalko

Faber Futures approach to design and biology is always in dialogue with craft, culture and technology, so we were delighted to form part of London Craft Week’s cultural program of events across the city in celebration of design making. As part of Today at Apple, and in partnership with the Design Museum, Faber Futures was invited to share our unique and interdisciplinary approach to multispecies design at the Apple Covent Garden’s Design Lab. We developed a bespoke workshop, designed to be accessed through Apple’s core portable devices and software.

Within the clean, curated interior of the Apple store at Covent Garden, we exhibited a living installation– trillions of pigment-producing bacteria growing on a silk textile and suspended in a vitrine– to inspire and provoke alternative ways of thinking about making with life. Meanwhile, through the workshop, members of the public brainstormed and visualised what it might mean for design and sustainable innovation if we Think Like a Cell.

A fundamental core of Faber Futures is a reconfiguration of our approach to design, most notably characterised by challenging the human-centred approach to design in favour of a multi-species agenda. The workshop guided participants to build greater empathy with the microbial world in order to speculate on ways of co-creation with these living organism. We were amazed at the curious minds who joined us for the workshop which saw the public to a deep dive into the secrets of microbial life, and what opportunities a greater understanding of this can open up to us.

The series at Apple culminated with Digital Craft, an exciting talk and panel discussion at the Design Museum in London. The panel interrogated the integration of new digital tools and techniques with traditional craft processes, and how this innovation is transforming the process of making and creating new outlets for creative expression. Natsai was joined by Yinka Illori, Lucy Hardcastle, and Jessica Pile.

To learn more about how Faber Futures could work with you to approach new ideas and to begin to tackle complex problems through our package of bespoke masterclasses, please email our Business Lead Laura Emily Vent via



Natsai Audrey Chieza (Research & Creative Direction), Laura Emily Vent (Producer), Magdalenda Obmalko (Research Assistant), Simon Sawyer (Fabricator).

Natsai facilitating "Think Like a Cell: The Secrets of Biodesign" workshop at Apple Store, Covent Garden, 2019. Image credit: Laura Vent.
Natsai facilitating "Think Like a Cell: The Secrets of Biodesign" workshop at Apple Store, Covent Garden, 2019. Image credit: Matt Hall.

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