The SCOBY Breastplate is a sustainable, interactive wearable that was slowly grown and fabricated from kombucha SCOBY (Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast) biofilm over the course of 13 weeks. When worn, LEDs embedded within the SCOBY breastplate produce different light responses in reaction to the wearer being hugged, tapped, or brushed. Through this project, we challenge the fail-fast and rapid prototyping trends that inhabit creative technology research, and instead explore what it means to design at the pace of another living organism.

Living Matter Lab 

 

Publications

  • Fiona Bell, Derrek Chow, Hyelin Choi, and Mirela Alistar. 2023. SCOBY Breastplate: Slowly Growing a Microbial Interface. In Proceedings of the Seventeenth International Conference on Tangible, Embedded, and Embodied Interaction (TEI '23). Association for Computing Machinery, New York, NY, USA, 1-15. (Warsaw, Poland Feb. 26-March 1, 2023). [Conditionally Accepted]
  • Fiona Bell, Derrek Chow, Eldy Lazaro Vasquez, Laura Devendorf, and Mirela Alistar. 2023. Designing Interactions with Kombucha SCOBY. In Proceedings of the Seventeenth International Conference on Tangible, Embedded, and Embodied Interaction (TEI '23). Association for Computing Machinery, New York, NY, USA, 1-15. (Warsaw, Poland Feb. 26-March 1, 2023). [Accepted]