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Biofabrication with SCOBY: material innovation and independent learning in a summer research unit

conference contribution
posted on 2023-05-24, 18:15 authored by Sonja HindrumSonja Hindrum, Michael Hornblow, Jacqueline PowerJacqueline Power, Yong, A

This poster presentation will communicate the process and results developed as part of a Dean’s Summer Research Scholarship (DSRS) unit, building upon a previous Teaching Development Grant between architecture and design and chemistry, investigating Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast (SCOBY). The intention of the DSRS unit is for undergraduate students to learn research protocols and develop interest in pursuing further research. Despite its research positioning, the unit must be carefully designed to facilitate independent learning sustained over a period of weeks. Architecture and design disciplines are traditionally taught in studio settings that involve collaborative ‘project-based teaching in small groups’ (Wallis, et al., 2017, p. 123). Although still responding to so-called ‘wicked problems’, the DSRS unit contrasts this established style of learning by requiring self-directed independent learning in a supervisory mode situated in a research context (Buchanan, 1995, p. 14-5).

The main aim of the DSRS project was to generate ideas and working prototypes for the use of SCOBY as an architectural material responding to the emerging design field of bio-design. Expert in the field William Myers (2012, p. 9) defines the emergent field of bio-design as ‘(referring) specifically to the incorporation of living organisms as essential components, enhancing the function of the finished work’. The unit provided both hands-on learning, including site visits, reflective processes such as journaling, and consultation with material experts.

The poster will demonstrate the high impact learning associated with the DSRS unit.


Publication title

Teaching Matters 2018




School of Creative Arts and Media


Tasmanian Institute of Learning and Teaching

Place of publication

Launceston, Tasmania

Event title

Teaching Matters 2018

Event Venue

University of Tasmania

Date of Event (Start Date)


Date of Event (End Date)


Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Environmentally sustainable manufacturing activities not elsewhere classified

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    University Of Tasmania