Fast-forward to the year 2050. Overpopulation, climate change and extreme resource shortages challenge us to think in a radically different way. New organisms have been genetically engineered to produce textiles and improved food crops … all in one plant.

Although currently not possible today, such synthetic plants could exist in 20 years’ time, according to some scientists. Carole Collet, professor in Design for Sustainable Futures at Central Saint Martins, London, combines design and science to explore efficient and sustainable alternatives. The way we design and produce future textiles will be radically different. The project introduces four imaginary plants: Basil n° 5, Gold Nano Spinach, Factor 60 Tomato en Strawberry Noir. Their DNA has been reprogrammed so that their roots grow in a lace pattern.

To these four plant themes, Texture links unique historical pieces from the museum collection. Past and present interwoven in an unconventional lace exhibition with a challenging perspective. Would you eat a vitamin-rich black strawberry from a plant that has also produced your little black dress? Welcome to the world of BIOLACE.


Carole Collet has been working on BIOLACE since years, a research that connects textiles, food production and sustainability. The current exhibition in Texture presents her biotechnological vision of the future combined with a selection of high-quality, rare lace from the museum collection. At INTERIEUR 2018, the professor explains the current state of research in an inspiring talk. Where are we now? What are the prospects of a thorough synthetic biology?

“Carole Collet has dedicated her career to developing a new vision for design, and pioneered the discipline of Textile Futures at Central Saint Martins fourteen years ago. She is now a full time Professor and her current research work is focused on biodesign, biofacturing and high-tech sustainability.

Collet operates within a long-term framework and her research targets the year 2050 and beyond. By anticipating future key socio-economic factors and technological timelines, she aims at impacting today’s design directions so as to enable a more resilient and sustainable future.

Her design vision fosters an integration of the design process in scientific arenas so as to develop meaningful sustainable future products and services. Collet’s ambition is to elevate the status of design to become a powerful tool that contributes to developing innovative paths to achieve the ‘one planet lifestyle’.”    


Expo: Texture, Noordstraat 28, Kortrijk
Lecture: 22 oktober 2018, 13h00, Forum Kortrijk Xpo
Interieur City Festival: Sint-Maartensziekenhuis, Burg. Vercruysselaan 5, Kortrijk