Bioplastic Robotic Materialization

Design to Robotic Production of Biodegradable lamps


A collaborative course at HS Anhalt: Design Faculty + Dessau Institute of Architecture

Coordinators-Tutors DIA&DDD: Sina Mostafavi & Manuel Kretzer 


Tutor Assistants: Mohammed Saad Moharram & Arise Wan

DIA & DDD Participants: Adib Khaeez, Amro Hamead, Anian Till Stoib, Delta Carolina Gómez Linares, Dominique Lohaus, Erik scherenberg, Gulfia Kutlahmetova, Hosammeldin Badr, Iwan Mazlan, Jakob Emmerling, Jason Hage, Johanna Müller. Juan Antonio Herrera Golnzales. Julia Ziener. Kamal Amgad. Kyanoush Bitarafan, Louise Meyer, Ludwig Epple, Luise Eva Maria Oppelt, Marie Philine Frances Rockmann, Martin Naumann, Mohamed Mansour, Neady Oduor, Quenna Leer, Tang Yuanfeng, Tania Sabrina Ortiz Ramírez, Toni Pasternak, Valmir Kastrati

HS Anhalt robotic workshop support: Carl Buchmann

Project Video: Vimeo Link


Introduction and Brief:

Recent advancements in methods of fabrication and materialization introduce innovative ways of design thinking and experimentation through prototyping. The flexibility and programmability of such methods allow for the implementation of alternative materials in various scales ranging from product design to building processes. Consequently, the efficiency of the design can be achieved by engineering the complexity of material distribution and controlling the degradability level of the used material itself. In this context, “Bioplastic Robotic Materialization” is a collaborative course between the Departement of Design and the Dessau Institute of Architecture inviting students from both fields to an interdisciplinary design to prototyping challenge.


Objectives and Deliverables:

The learning objective of this course is twofold. On the one hand, the participants will get acquainted with the fundamentals of parametric design to robotic production. On the other hand, they will perform systematic scientific experiments with bioplastic in order to develop the right material for 3D printing. Following this initial research, the goal is to design and robotically produce lamp shades made from self-made bioplastic material. According to the outcomes of the experiments and design explorations, relevant techniques of robotic fabrication such as subtractive or additive manufacturing will be used. Variation in porosity, thickness, transparency and colour can be some examples of design features that will be achieved in the final prototypes. Each design will be presented with an accompanying descriptive poster.


While in FRUIT-LAMP several natural additives such as leaves, coffee, eggshells, nuts, etc. are used in combination with gelatin as the base material the vegan-lamp uses fully plant-based ingredients. In both projects series of tests are conducted to calibrate gradients of translucency, flexibility, strength and the lifespan.
SECOND SKIN cutting patterns follow muscle fibres and sensitive point of the human body such as armpit, upper arm, Abdomen and Forearm. Using serval additives such as thermochromic pigments, coffee, ink and orange peels, the design and the material system may react to human body temperature changes and or achieve the required functionality such as flexibility, rigidity and transparency. 

ARANEO or SPIDER is a self-luminescent lighting system, designed and produced using generative design, robotic production and custom made biobased material. To be charged by daylight, Araneo is to provide alternative lighting for urban infrastructure during the night.

LIFELIGHT set is a design research project with the idea of turning life-data DNA-data into a biobased desk lamp! Using a customized algorithmic design to robotic production process. 



– Kretzer, M. (2017). Information Materials – Smart Materials for Adaptive Architecture. Springer International Publishing.

– Lee, J. (2014). Material Alchemy. Redefining Materiality Within the 21st Century. BIS Publishers B.V

– Mostafavi S., Kemper B.N., Fischer D.L. (2019) Multimode Robotic Materialization. In: Robotic Fabrication in Architecture, Art and Design 2018. ROBARCH 2018. Springer.

– Mostafavi, S., Anton, A.: Materially informed robotic fabrication, architectural robotics and multiscalar material architecture. Book Chapter In: Daas, M., Wit, A.J. (eds.) Towards a Robotic Architecture, pp. 88–99. ORO Editions, Novato, CA (2018)

– Myers, W., Antonelli, P. (2014). Bio Design: Nature Science Creativity. Thames & Hudson Ltd.