Emma van der Leest

0, The Netherlands

Started teaching in Ecology Futures in 2020

Emma van der Leest

As a biodesigner, Emma collaborates with different disciplines, including scientists, physicists, artists and designers. Biodesign, which is based on the principles of biofabrication, is a field that emerged out of regenerative medicine technologies. Biodesign incorporates living organisms e.g. bacteria, fungi, algae or cells into the design process. By discovering materials and processes, that nature has designed but hasn’t patented, we can search for new materials that are grown completely compostable and minimize the use of hazardous resources that cause huge damage to our ecosystem.

Through her strong design, Emma has a compelling story. Trained as a product designer Emma completed her undergraduate degree in Product Design at the Willem de Kooning Academy in Rotterdam in 2015 (cum laude). She creates crossovers with craft, scientific research and new production techniques. Emma is trying to create an environment where boundaries dissolve, where different disciplines can benefit and learn from others.

Emma, together with biologist Emma Luijtjens, teaches two elective modules at the Material Incubator Lab that is located in the central hall of St. Joost School of Art & Design: Growing Culture; Biodesign, and Growing Culture; BioArt. She also tutors students with a bio-oriented practice in their individual studio projects.