Microbes are in the soil, in the water, in the air. And according to The Human Microbiome Project (HMP), the human body consists almost entirely of bacteria, made up of trillions of cells. Even though invisible to the eyes, microbes as bacteria, fungi, and viruses are part of human skin microflora, covering both the inside and the outer surface of the body. With the advent of scientific research into the microbiome, we have become aware of walking ecosystems made of microbes: our microflora has a symbiotic relationship with the interface between our body and the environment.
Thus interaction designer Giulia Tomasello asks how we feel about the idea that we consist almost entirely of bacteria. Questioning our notions of wellbeing to develop innovative tools in the intersection of medical and social sciences, she investigates the potential of biotechnology and living materials, proposing a biological and sustainable alternative for electronic textiles and more. These are enabled by her multidisciplinary collaborations and the symbiosis between her creative and scientific work. She has recently won the AEC STARTS Prize with her Future Flora kit - a bacteria harvesting pack which can prevent and treat yeast infections such as thrush with germs - bringing to the forefront issues that the medical community should consider in their production of pharmaceuticals for women.