Pioneering the Potential 2023 – Evolving the Bio base

Pioneering the Potential 2023 – Evolving the Bio base

Pioneering the Potential 2023 – Evolving the Bio base

Three Fibre materials evenings hosted by Fourth Door Research* in Lewes, Sussex in June 2023


In-depth information and context

These three Pioneering the Potential evenings are focused on a spectrum of fibre and natural materials, in building, design and textiles.

The evenings are the latest in Pioneering the Potential’s materials events focused on Post-Carbon natural materials. The evenings span the spectrum of fibre and natural materials, across regenerative building, design and textiles cultures, and bring together projects, materials, research, and related initiatives, while building on previous related events in 2022, 2021 and 2019.

05.2 doc Agile-Craig White - TAM

Agile’s TAM home


About the Speakers, projects, and evening themes

June 2nd - Evolving the Bio base 0I – Straw –Straw Fitzroy House 10 High Street Lewes BN7 2AD (Search Fitzroy House, Lewes)

@19.30pm – 21.15pm Eventbrite

Straw Friday is an evening dedicated to straw in construction, both traditional and industrial.

Craig White - Agile Homes – White has been at the forefront of developing straw in construction for over twenty years, with his Bristol based architecture and design studio, White Design, which delivered over a hundred projects, including many schools, community infrastructure and the ground-breaking Co-Housing project, LILAC. During this period he developed the Modcell straw-timber cassette system, in partnership with the University of Bath, which went on to be used in many of the White Design projects.

Today, White heads up Agile, a hydra-headed homes, building, and R&D studio set up, which has developed the TAM (short for the heftier Transportable Accommodation Module) using the new and improved Agile TAM straw insulation panels and buildings.

Phil Christopher, Huff and Puff Construction – Christopher is a straw bale builder, and recently completed the Hastings Bale House visitor centre, the first publically-procured straw bale building in the South east, and probably Britain, and one of the major pan-European UP STRAW research projects. He’ll be talking about the Bale House and other straw bale building projects.

05.3 doc TheBale House Hastings Country Park

Bjorn Kierelff – from Slovakia by Zoom – EcoCocon and Createrra  - Kierrelf has been involved in continental straw in construction for many years, including co-founding Createrra, a Slovakian architectural studio focused on passivhaus straw insulated buildings across Europe, using Ecococon straw panels. In 2021 Kierrulf and colleagues took over the running of EcoCocon.

Kierrelf will be speaking from – and giving an over-the-internet tour of – Createrra’s Slovakian studio, the first ever load bearing straw dome (designed and built by the alternative German natural materials architect, Gernot Minke as part of a participatory design and make workshop.)

05.4 doc - Createrra Straw Bale Dome in snow

Createrra’s load bearing straw dome office


03 - Bio Base 2 Marcos Kruz - mam_Algae-Cellunoi frontal view

Algae-Cellunoi wall installation at FRAC, Orleans, France


June 9th – Evolving the Bio base 02 – Bio-Integrative Design and Mycelium

@StudioHardie workshop –  Unit 4, Phoenix Works, Lewes, BN7 2PE, East Sussex, map here

@19.30pm – 21.15pm Eventbrite

Evolving the Bio base’s second evening explores the interdisciplinary space between bio-tech-led innovation and the Bio base.                                                  

Marcos KruzBio-Integrative Design (Bio-ID), University College London, Kruz is co-director of the interdisciplinary Bio-ID courses at UCL’s Here East campus. The courses joins up bio-tech with digital fabrication, and architecture with biochemical engineering. Kruz also runs MAM – marcosandmarjan, an experimental practice, with Marjan Colleti.  The Bio-ID lab continues earlier experimental materials research into algae, including the – now permanent – Algae-Cellunoi wall installation at FRAC, Orleans, France, and Algae(o)zebo, an experimental pavilion for the Olympics, featuring photo-bioreactors containing algae in its columns.


Mycelium based materials and products


Okasana BondarBIOHM – BIOHM are a regenerative materials start-up which emerged out of the research culture at London Imperial College. They have specifically focused on mycelium and the built fabric. Oksana leads BIOHM’s design team, and will be telling BIOHM’s research journey to date, including involvement in Lewes’s Baker-Brown led recyclable pavilion at Glyndebourne.


Julia Lohmann in the Department of Seaweed studio


June 16th – Evolving the Bio base 03 – Seaweed, Natural textiles and the Fibreshed network –

@StudioHardie workshop – Unit 4, Phoenix Works, Lewes, BN7 2PE, East Sussex, map here

@19.30pm – 21.15pm Eventbrite

The final evening highlights future focused design and craft, drawing in less obvious and older natural materials: seaweed and wool.

Julia Lohmann, Dept of Seaweed, the ‘Mer-Queen of Seaweed’, Lohmann has been working with seaweed in design for over twenty years, including a PhD at the Royal College of Art. Under the aegis of the Department of Seaweed Lohmann’s seaweed design work has developed across a broad swathe of design terrain. Currently teaching and researching in the department of design at Aalto University, Helsinki, Lohmann will join us from there over Zoom.

Isabella Goggin, South East England Fibershed – Fibreshed is a pan-continental network, rooted in regional and Bioregional perspectives, bringing together regenerative farming, making and clothing.

Goggin will be talking about the regional Fibreshed for this part of the world alongside the natural fibres movement. Isabella is part of SE England Fibreshed mapping project and is also involved at a national level. She is an accomplished maker/designer/seamstress.


The old ways – Natural wool, a part of re-generative farming



Ferme des Possibles in St Denis by Archipel Zero


Unstructured Straw – Coming very soon

A new edition of Fourth Door’s Unstructured web-magazine will be live shortly and, with straw build surging in across France, features an in-depth look at urban straw in Paris, as part of this larger, new French revolution.

Featuring the straw-timber urban farms, Ferme du Rail and Ferme de Possibles, and the radical Paris district, Rosny-Sous-Bois, turning their building policy and programme towards post carbon natural materials, not least straw construction. Plus Hastings Bale House, and the long straw journey of Craig White: from White Design and Modcell to Agile and TAM’s.


Booking, times and venue information

The evenings will happen at Studio Hardie workshop, Unit 4, Phoenix Works, Lewes, East Sussex, BN7 2PE map here and Fitzroy House, Lewes, BN7 2AD (Search Fitzroy House, Lewes) TBC

All evenings run from 19.30pm to around 21.15

Cost: Donations – pay what you feel you can.

Booking through Eventbrite

For further in-depth info and bios see here

*Pioneering the Potential is hosted by Fourth Door in association with MakingLewes

For further information please contact Fourth Door:
01273 473501


Annular, Fourth Door’s wood culture and timber website is live.

Further - Annular Archive South East England page.


The Evolving the Bio base evenings are supported by Lewes District Council and Agile Homes

LDCAgile Homes Text Format 300 dpi

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