led by Arianna Nicoletti

Arianna Nicoletti of Fashion Revolution gave an introduction to the concepts of conscious and sustainable design and reflected on effects on nature, culture and society, as well as facts about the impact of consumption and how models of future positive change can be promoted.



Herbal Fabric – Elena Stranges
Plasticula – Jannis Kempkens
Cladophora – Malu Lücking
Micro.Colors – Abigail Goodwin
New Blue + Paper Waste Workshop – Tim van der Loo

The second topic of the lecture series Sustainable Design Strategies was assigned to student research projects coming out of the greenlab at weißensee Academy of Arts.

Tim van der Loo is an alumni at greenlab and a material and product designer researching the potential of waste materials. He is part of DesignFarm and a MA student at the weißensee Academy of Art Berlin. His project ‘New Blue’ addresses the fact that jeans are one of the most water and CO2 intensive items of clothing in our wardrobe. By breaking down denim waste into fibres and applying different techniques he is able to recycle the waste into new, jeans-like materials.

A recent Weißensee alumna, Malu Lücking graduated from the Department of Textile and Surface Design in 2020. While pursuing her own projects, Malu currently also holds a teaching position at greenlab. Her project ‘Cladophora’ addresses the problem of rapid algae growth. She uses ubiquitous filamentous algae to create non-woven fabrics as well as biodegradable bioplastics.

Abigail Goodwin currently studies textile design at Central Saint Martins and specialises in print design. Her project ‘Micro.colours’ investigates the potential of pigmented microorganisms for the production of sustainable dyes. Together with the Institute of Biotechnology at the TU Berlin, she developed textile dyes and pigments that require little water, low temperatures and no chemicals.

Jannis Kempkens cultivated mealworms for his project ‘Plasticular’. Mealworms are the only known organisms that can eat and digest polystyrene. The animals can be further processed as food. They consist of chitin, which can also be turned into new, waterproof and compostable bioplastics.

‘Kräuterstoff’ by Elena Stranges is a workshop, in cooperation with Berlin’s City Mission, in which donated clothes are dyed with wild herbs and vegetable waste. The old textiles are thereby upgraded and made more desirable, to enter a new life cycle.



Sammlung Walter – Merle Richter
The Bark Project – Johanna Hehemeyer-Cürten + Charlett Wenig
Weather Underground – Verena Michels
Our local nettle – Tau Pibernat

On day two, Merle Richter, Johanna Hehemeyer Cürten & Charlett Wenig, Verena Michels and Tau Pibernat presented their projects.

Sammlung Walter is a fashion and interior label by Merle and Till Richter. Their editions allow consumers to decide for themselves whether to purchase a product as a DIY edition, an industrially produced product or a handicraft original. By foregrounding the discussion of these options, the designers emphasize the value of the production method..

Johanna Hehemeyer-Cürten is a participant of local international and an MA student at the weißensee Academy of Art Berlin. Charlett Wenig is a material designer and PHD candidate at the Max Planck Institute with a focus on biomaterials. Together they are running ‘The Bark Project’ – an extensive research project that explores the potential of tree bark in a clothing context. Bark is collected, woven and processed as textile.

Verena Michels is a fashion and product designer. She founded her own company and teaches at the Academy for Fashion and Design. Her label Weather Underground produces a compostable raincoat that aims to rid festivals and tourist hotspots from piles of discarded, disposable rain ponchos.

Tau Pibernat is a participant of local international and MA student at the weißensee Academy of Art Berlin. In her open laboratory ‘Our local nettle’, she develops cellulose fibres from locally grown nettles which are then used for the production of textiles.