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  • Wasabii Ng


    PhD Candidate – Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands.

    [email protected]

    [email protected]



    Prof. Dr. Elvin Karana

    Prof. Dr. Han Wosten

    Prof. Valentina Rognoli

    Wasabii Ng is a PhD candidate at the Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering.

    Under the Materializing Futures Section, Wasabii explores the design potentials of mycelium-based materials, with a particular interest in tuning their experiential qualities through unusual techniques (such as sound), which offers immense possibilities for cleaner production and the design of novel responsive artefacts. Her research brings together research techniques from biology and design in a unique iterative manner. She works under the supervision of Prof. Elvin Karana, Prof. Han Wosten (Utrecht University) and Dr. Valentina Rognoli (PoliMi). Wasabii also has an affiliation with the Biobased Art and Design Group at the Avans University of Applied Sciences, guiding students and researchers on designing with mycelium-based materials.

    Previously she graduated with a First-Class Honours BA in Textile Design at Chelsea College Of Art, University of the Arts London; and she holds a MA in Information Experience Design from the Royal College Of Art (RCA) London. Her work has been internationally exhibited and runs workshops for educational purposes. Her previous grants includes projects such as Cuddly Fungi (funding awarded Creative Stimulerings Fonds) and Another bite of the cherry (H2020-SC6-CO-CREATION-2016-3 Project number: 763784).

  • Anouk Zeeuw van der Laan


    Ph.D. Candidate - Dyson School of Design Engineering at Imperial College London

    [email protected]


    Dr. Marco Aurisicchio

    Dr. Elvin Karana

    Dr. Valentina Rognoli

    Anouk is a PhD Candidate at the Dyson School of Design Engineering at Imperial College London. She received her BSc. and MSc. in Industrial Design Engineering at Delft University of Technology. Anouk developed an interest for materials and why materials that can last centuries, are often selected for disposable products used for minutes. Her MSc thesis was material-driven and aimed to investigate opportunities for the use of waste materials, such as waste coffee grounds [1]. After her graduation Anouk continued to work with a Material-Driven Design approach in the development of new materials in collaboration with Innventia. To better understand the mismatch of material lifetime and product lifetime, Anouk joined the Kraft Heinz Company to learn about materials in the fast-moving consumer goods industry. She worked in continuous improvement, packaging procurement and packaging R&D. 


    1. Karana E., Barati, B., Rognoli V., Zeeuw Van Der Laan, A., (2015). Material Driven Design (MDD): A Method To Design For Material Experiences. International Journal of Design, 9(2), 35-54. 

    2. Zeeuw van der Laan, A. and Aurisicchio, M. (2017) ‘Planned Obsolescence in the Circular Economy’, in PLATE conference 2017, pp. 446–452. doi: 10.3233/978-1-61499-820-4-446.

  • Joren Wierenga

    Joren wierenga

    BioLab Technician – Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands.

    [email protected]

    [email protected]


    Prof. Dr. Elvin Karana

    Joren Wierenga is a research technician for the BioLab at the Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering. Joren holds a BSc and MSc in Biology and Marine Sciences respectively, both from Utrecht University. In 2016 Joren started a PhD at the University of Geneva in microbial ecology. During his PhD Joren focused on how environmental factors affect the interaction between phytoplankton and parasitic fungi. To this end he gained experience in prototyping and building several experimental set-ups and growing different types of micro-organisms under varying conditions. After finishing his PhD at University of Geneva he wanted to expand his horizons to work on more diverse projects. Joren joined the group to run the new BioLab and to support the PhD-students with their projects.

  • Federico Trevia
    federico trevia 2.jpg


    Researcher - Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands


    [email protected]

    [email protected]



    Dr. Elvin Karana

    Dr. Jan Carel Diehl

    Federico is currently working on project DELTAP at the Industrial Design Engineering Faculty of TU Delft, in collaboration with the faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences at TU Delft. Project DELTAP focuses on developing an integrative approach for smart small-scale piped water supply in the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna Delta. The focus of Federico’s research is on the exploration and use of local materials (both natural and waste-based) in Rajshahi, Bangladesh, as resource for DIY-materials, together with the integration of the water system in the community. Main areas of interest are fulfillment of system requirements, water distribution in the village and social adoption.

    Prior to this Federico received his Bachelor degree in Industrial Design from Politecnico di Milano in 2011 and his Master degree in Design For Interaction at TU Delft in 2013 with a graduation project at Philips Design. After his studies he has been working for different sized companies and industries both in Italy and The Netherlands, spanning from education start-ups and product design studios to industrial groups and advertising agencies.

    Working as a professional designer he gained experience in human centered design, product design and conceptualization, process visualization and project management.

    Materials exploration, use and enhancement has always been at the heart of his projects, in the quest of defining how to convey experiences through shape, form and texture. In his career Federico was involved in projects related to the discovery of textile’s transparency, perception and reflectivity for space design; wood selection, shaping and treatment for public space and interior design projects; aluminum treatment for texture, shape and finishing in luxury product design; paper and cardboard investigation and treatment for packaging design.

    Current Project


    In this project, Federico Trevia explores how (new) materials are experienced in BoP countries, specifically in Deltas in India and Bangladesh; as well as the dynamics of the society and the organization to be taken into account in the development and implementation of DIY material practices for locally produced products. 


    1. Evelien Van de Garde-Perik, Federico Trevia, Adam Henriksson, Luc Geurts and Helle Ullerup (2016). Getting a GRIP at the Design of a Nature Inspired Relaxation Space for Work-Related Stress. International Journal of Arts and Technology, Volume 9, Issue 3. https://doi.org/10.1504/IJART.2016.078612

  • Alessia Romani


    Ph.D. Candidate - Politecnico di Milano, Department of Design, Italy

    Research Fellow – Politecnico di Milano, Department of Chemistry, Materials and Chemical Engineering “Giulio Natta”, Italy

    [email protected]



    Prof. Marinella Levi

    Prof. Valentina Rognoli

    Alessia Romani is a PhD candidate in Design at the Department of Design (Politecnico di Milano), and she currently works as Research Fellow at the Department of Chemistry, Materials and Chemical Engineering “Giulio Natta” of the same university. Her main research interests focus on the interdisciplinary connection between Design, Materials and Additive Manufacturing. She aims at bridging design and engineering through the lens of materials and digital technologies. Also, she is interested in new design strategies and approaches to additive manufacturing, new materials and finishing for design and additive manufacturing, parametric and computational design, design for sustainability and circular economy.

    She is actively involved in two main research projects: “FiberEUse - Large scale demonstration of new circular economy value-chains based on the reuse of end-of-life fiber reinforced composites” (H2020 EU Funded project - Grant Agreement N. 730323-1) and “+Ability” (Codesign of 3D Printed Customized Assistive Technology). She previously took part in “NNCF – Noi Non Ci Fermiamo” project funded by Roche S.p.A. (Codesign of Assistive Technology for Rheumatic Diseases).

     Alessia is currently part of +LAB, 3D printing lab of Politecnico di Milano, and she has joined the Materials Experience Lab after the beginning of her PhD path. Her PhD research aims at investigating the interdisciplinary link between design, materials and additive manufacturing in circular economy contexts, fostering the exploitation of new circular materials and strategies in the design practice. Previously, she received her BSc in Product Design in 2015 from Politecnico di Milano, and she obtained her MSc in Design & Engineering in 2018 (full marks) from the same university with a thesis focused on the codesign of 3D printed customized assistive technology developed at +LAB. During her studies, she also worked as a designer in the household appliances and textile fields.

     Through her research experience, she had the opportunity to merge design research and materials engineering, gaining expertise at the intersection of the two disciplines. She also collaborated as teaching assistant and co-supervised MSc thesis of the two disciplinary fields (MSc in Design & Engineering, BSc and MSc in Materials and Nanotechnology Engineering). Moreover, she has authored publications in peer-reviewed journals, participated at international conferences and organized workshops focused on 3D printing, materials and design.

    Current Project


    Considering the exploitation of fossil derivatives for human activities, the importance of sustainability is going to constantly increase in the next years. New circular economy models should be investigated to reduce the human impact on earth. As a result, design, materials and digital technologies play a crucial role in this change, and a wider range of circular materials and design strategies should be implemented. Nevertheless, their combined integration in the design practice is still challenging, and designers are not always aware of these possibilities. At the same time, the potential applications of these materials and their experiential aspects are scarcely considered in the conventional development process.

    The aim of this research is to investigate the interdisciplinary link between design, materials and additive manufacturing in circular economy contexts. At a later stage, the goal is to foster the integration of new circular materials and design strategies based on additive manufacturing in the design practice. Starting from specific case studies, the research will be focused on the investigation of new circular materials and design strategies for additive manufacturing through a design engineering experimental approach. Afterwards, new experiential tools will be developed to exploit the potential of emerging materials and strategies for new design applications in circular economy models.


    1. Romani, A., Suriano, R., Mantelli, A., Levi, M., Tralli, P., Laurila, J., Vuoristo, P. (Forthcoming, 2021). Composite Finishing for Reuse. In: Systemic Circular Economy Solutions for Fiber Reinforced Composites.

    2. Mantelli, A., Romani, A., Suriano, R., Levi, M., Turri, S. (2021, Forthcoming). Additive manufacturing of recycled composites. In: Systemic Circular Economy Solutions for Fiber Reinforced Composites.

    3. Mantelli, A., Romani, A., Suriano, R., Levi, M., Turri, S. (2021) Direct Ink Writing of Recycled Composites with Complex Shapes: Process Parameters and Ink Optimization. Advanced Engineering Materials, In press.

    4. Mantelli, A., Romani, A., Suriano, R., Diani, M., Colledani, M., Sarlin, E., Turri, S., Levi, M. (2021) UV-Assisted 3D Printing of Polymer Composites from Thermally and Mechanically Recycled Carbon Fibers. Polymers, 13, (5):726. https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13050726

    5. Romani, A., Levi, M. (2020) Parametric Design for Online User Customization of 3D Printed Assistive Technology for Rheumatic Diseases. In: De Paolis L., Bourdot P. (eds) Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, and Computer Graphics. AVR 2020. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 12243. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-58468-9_14

    6. Romani, A., Mantelli, A., Suriano, R., Levi, M., Turri, S. (2020) Additive Re-Manufacturing of Mechanically Recycled End-of-Life Glass Fiber-Reinforced Polymers for Value-Added Circular Design. Materials, 13, (16): 3545.  https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13163545

    7. Romani, A., Orlando, G., Convertino, R., Zappalà, F.,  Baldassin, R., Pisu, M.G., Lorè, A., Digioia, S., Brambilla, E., Marcato, G., Agresta, I., Basciu, F., Fausti, V., Ravalli, G., Mantelli, A., Levi, M., Donati, C. (2019). CoDesign, Stampa 3D e Medicina per la Progettazione di Prodotti personalizzabili d’Uso Quotidiano. In: Reumatismo, 71:286-93. Società Italiana di Reumatologia (SIR), Rimini. (Invited)

    8. Romani, A., Mantelli, A., Levi, M. (2019) Circular Design for Value-Added Remanufactured End-of-Life Composite Material via Additive Manufacturing Technology. In: Segalàs, J., Lazzarini, B. (eds) Proceedings of the 19th European Roundtable for Sustainable Consumption and Production – Circular Europe for Sustainability: Design, Production and Consumption, Book of Papers (1): 491-512. Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Barcelona.

  • Clarice Risseeuw
    20210526_094858 (1).jpg


    PhD Candidate – Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands.

    [email protected]


    Prof. Dr. Elvin Karana

    Dr. Holly McQuillan

    Dr. Joana Martins

    Clarice is a PhD candidate at the TU Delft, exploring the potential of flavobacteria’s living colour as responsive medium. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Design Engineering as well as a master’s degree in Integrated Product Design from the same university. During her studies in Delft and an exchange program at the NTNU, Norway, she was more and more attracted to bio design as it was the perfect way to combine her passions for design and nature. She started working with flavobacteria during her graduation project, in which she characterized, captured and communicated this organism’s vivid structural colourations. Afterwards, she joined Materials Experience Lab as a biodesign researcher of Caradt to continue her research. Still amazed by this beautiful microorganism, Clarice has now returned to the TU Delft as a PhD candidate, supervised by Prof. Dr. Elvin Karana, Dr. Holly McQuillan and Dr. Joana Martins.

    Current Project

    The PhD research focuses on exploring the potential of flavobacteria’s living colour as responsive medium. Bridging microbiology and design, we aim to take flavobacteria out of the lab and develop a living responsive material able to communicate through vivid colourations. Here we envision soft interfaces that can be activated by the user, offering unique possibilities for interaction design.

  • Barbara Pollini


    Ph.D. Candidate - Politecnico di Milano, Department of Design, Italy

    [email protected]


    Prof. Valentina Rognoli

    Since 2010 I have been dealing with sustainable design; specializing with a Master in Ecodesign and Eco-innovation, where I learned a life cycle design approach, and a Master's Degree in Computational Design, where I deepened the integration of biomimicry for the development of new materials, based on generative modelling and additive manufacturing.

    Over the years, I have researched D4S from different perspectives: as a designer, educator and consultant, deepening in recent years the topic of sustainable materials (mainly circular, organic, waste-based and biofabricated ones), paying attention to both industrial production and self-production phenomena, such as DIY-Materials. Matter, and its management in the design process, are often crucial in the environmental impact of products and services; for the same reason, materials can become a turning point in innovation and sustainability for future productions. This is the case for materials made from and with living organisms, which are today the focus of my PhD research. With a transdisciplinary approach combining material design, biology and ecology, the study investigates how this new emerging materiality can be framed in the context of sustainable design. As a PhD candidate, I have been involved in the EU-funded project "MaDe: Material Designers. Boosting Talent towards Circular Economy". Currently, I'm involved in the research project "De_Forma: Design Explorations on bio-Fabricated Organic Materials" in Politecnico di Milano; I'm a Visiting PhD student at ITESO, Universidad Jesuita de Guadalajara, Mexico, collaborating with Materioteca ITESO and lecturing for the course of Circular Materials; I'm sharing my research path(s) on healing-meterialities.design, an online observatory where I'm making available tools, publications and expert interviews on biodesign and biofabricated materials.

    Current Project


    My research focuses on those material scenarios based on the regenerative processes of resources instead of depletion. Including both living materials (made of and with living organisms) and life-enabling materials (inert materials welcoming and supporting life), this study develops in a context of multispecies design.

    The research intersects the constantly evolving concept of sustainability, the material design discipline, and biodesign – the latter being a radical approach based on the integration of living organisms as functional components in the design process. The study originates from a transdisciplinary approach, adopted to understand the implications that living materials can have on sustainable design, aiming to define the boundaries of newly designed materialities where the final goal is to support life.

    The conceptual framework deriving from this research is defined as Healing Materialities, highlighting the reconciling and repairing attitude of these materials, and framing them in a regenerative design perspective.

    My research path is available via an online observatory where tools, publications, and interviews with experts are shared (beta version accessible here).


    1. Pollini, B. (2021). Sustainable design, biomimicry and biomaterials: exploring interactivity, connectivity and smartness in Nature. Chapter in: Rognoli, V., Ferraro, V (Eds.), “ICS Materials: interactive, connected, and smart materials”, Franco Angeli, Milano. pp 60–73

    2. Rognoli V., Ayala-Garcia C., Pollini B. (2021). DIY Recipes. Ingredients, Processes and Materials Qualities. Chapter in: Clèries L., Rognoli V., Solanki S. e Llorach P. (Eds.), “Material Designers. Boosting talent towards circular economies”, Elisava School of Design and Engineering, Barcelona.

    3. Pollini B., Lavagna M., Rognoli V. (2020). LCA-based material selection in the early stages of design: environmental benefits, tools, obstacles and opportunities. IX Conference of the Italian LCA Network Association, Cortina d'Ampezzo (BL).

    4. Pollini B., Pietroni L., Mascitti J., Paciotti D. (2020). Towards a new material culture. bio-inspired design, parametric modeling, material design, digital manufacture. In Perriccioli M., Rigillo M., Russo Ermolli S., Tucci F., Design in the Digital Age. Technology, Nature, Culture (pp. 208-212). Bologna: Politecnica University Press, Maggioli editore.

    5. Rognoli V., Santulli C., Pollini B. (2017). DIY-Materials design as an invention process. DIID. Disegno industriale, Industrial Design, vol.62/63, pp.9-17, Rome.

    6. Pollini B., Maccagnan F. (2017). Thinking with our hands. Materia Rinnovabile / Renewable Matter N°19, December2017/January2018, ISSN 2385-2240, edited by Edizioni Ambiente


Material is a Medium. It communicates ideas, beliefs, approaches; compels us to think, feel and act in certain ways; enables and enhances functionality and utility. Materials Experience emphasises this role of materials as being simultaneously technical and experiential.


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