A series of hands-on masterclasses facilitated by the Fabricademy network, covering topics including biopolymer manipulation and growing microbial and fungal design materials.Through experimental making and learning, we will collaboratively explore connections between renewable design materials and social entrepreneurship in the context of the Amsterdam creative industries.

Sustainable materials and circular design have become core topics across all design disciplines. While many labs in industries and universities create advanced materials, there is a need for designers to explore the expressiveness of these new materials. Through design interventions we can change our attitudes to finite or toxic materials. For new natural materials such as microbial vegan leather and fungal dyes to find uptake in design communities, supply chains need to be cultivated in the form of small production facilities of micro-factories. In this project, we are looking to make connections between locally abundant waste streams, designers and crafts people in relation to Amsterdam’s social fabric and the urban commons.  

Under the title “Making Sustainability Work” the newly formed Critical Making learning community at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences brings together creative social entrepreneurs, and educators/researchers within the ACIN network to explore the emerging field of biofabricating materials and biochromes (e.g., growing fungal leather and bacterial dyes). These sustainable counterparts to traditional design materials will be explored through critical making and reflecting in an intensive masterclass program facilitated by the Fabricademy network of fashion and textile labs from around the globe. Consequently, work sessions will be held to develop 1) project proposals to apply for research funding, or 2) initiatives within educational programs, like a project within a minor or semester course.


* Week of 28 Sep – Kick-off meeting at Makers Lab (AUAS location Weesperplein)
* Week of 05 Oct – Masterclass 1: Circular Open Source Fashion by Zoe Romano
* Week of 13 Oct – Masterclass 2: Biochromes by Cecilia Raspanti
* Week of 27 Oct – Masterclass 3: Biofabricating Materials by Cecilia Raspanti
* Week of 17 Nov – Masterclass 4: Textile as Scaffold by Anastasia Pistofidou

All masterclasses consist of online global lectures, followed by hands-on tutorials in the Makers Lab at AUAS. During the week you dive in with further independent creative work and documentation. More info is available at: https://textile-academy.org/program/ 

* Week of 07 Dec – Work session 1: Idea Development and Collaboration Opportunities
* Week of 14 Dec – Work session 2: Proposal Development followed by Public Pitches  

The work sessions will be supported by an IXA funding advisor, and facilitated researchers/educators affiliated with the Critical Making learning community at AUAS.

Who can apply?

Participants who work as researcher and/or educator at any of the partners in the ACIN network can apply: Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (HvA), Amsterdam University of the Arts (AHK), InHolland, Gerrit Rietveld Academy, University of Amsterdam (UvA), or VU Amsterdam. We also warmly welcome people working for/with a social enterprise that have a connection to Amsterdam’s creative industries. Please apply only if you have the intention of participating in all the activities mentioned in the program.Specific time and dates will be determined based on the availability of selected participants.

How to apply

Indicate your interest by sending a written response to the questions below to: Loes Bogers at l.bogers@hva.nl. The extended deadline is 13 September 2020 (on or before).

* Your name, name of organization and contact details
* Motivation to join the project, and relationship to your current activities/projects.  
* Known (un)availability between 28 September and 18 December 2020 (e.g., not available on Tuesdays and Wednesdays between 10-15h)
* Can you commit to dedicating time towards the project or is it pending approval of a superior? Please let us know about the outcomes as soon as you can.


Six participants will be selected, based on motivation and likelihood of full participation. We aim to form include people from varying backgrounds and working in varying roles in their respective organizations. The selection will be announced 6 September 2020.

Fees and hours

Fee for participation in the Fabricademy masterclasses and tutorials, and all materials required are covered by the ACIN network’s seed money grant. We estimate that the minimum amount of time dedicated to the project is 65 hours, where the weeks in which the 4 masterclasses will be held (5 October – 20 November) will be more intensive (at least 12 hours for each masterclass week). Please note that AUAS participants are eligible for 24 hours from the project budget. We ask potential participants to discuss with their supervisor(s) how the additional hours might be made available (e.g. CAO agreements for Duurzame Inzetbaarheid, Professionalisering).


This series of masterclasses and work sessions are facilitated in order to forge new connections within the ACIN network. It is the first project to take shape in the newly formed Critical Making learning community: a collaboration between Amsterdam Fashion Institute and the lectorates Fashion Research Technology, Visual Methodologies, and Play & Civic Media.