Coded Biophilia

  • Deadline:
    Oct. 27, 2021, 12:10 p.m.
  • Location:

School of Machines, Making & Make-Believe presents a 5-wk online class exploring soft wearables and biological textiles.

About this event

Can soft technology expand the ways our bodies sense and interact with the environment?

/ Five-week Live* Online class begins 27. October ends 24. November

/ Every Wednesday, 6pm-8pm, CET

/ Small class of participants

/Tickets available through Eventbrite

Course Description

Coded Biophilia is a workshop designed to learn basics of soft wearables and the exploration of biological textiles.

During the workshop, students will explore the potential of bacterial cellulose for textile futures in terms of growing living materials and creating speculative scenarios for second skins, sensors, and adaptive responsive structures. Learning new methods of making sensory surfaces for wearables and to envision how biotechnology and new materials will shape our environment. At the end of the workshop, students will be able to identify state-of-the-art soft wearable and bio-textiles applications.

Technology is getting closer and closer to our skin. What we wear today will soon be forgotten and replaced with biological technologies that are not only changing and challenging the way we consume and experience design and fashion, but also how we relate to and work with nature instead of against it.

At this crucial point, as we tumble towards bio collapse; ensued by our growth-obsessed culture and unsustainable models for living, the challenge and responsibility of contemporary designers, thinkers and researchers is to lead with awareness and sensibility towards both the planet and its people. We have a responsibility to create a space for dialogue and a framework for reflection, to inspire innovation that will disrupt our current fatal model. Through Coded Biophilia and within this space, we have the opportunity to re-think the relationship between technology, design and society.

Course Outline

Week 1: Introductions

This first week will be a chance for the group to get to know each other, introduce your work and interests as well as getting to know more about Giulia’s practise. There will be an introduction workshop, and an input & output group exercise to get the class started.

Week 2: Bio-textiles

The second week will be learning all about bio-textiles and getting to try out some methods for creating your own. This will be followed by a group brainstorming and then coupling up for projects.

Week 3: Soft Sensors

This week will focus on learning about soft sensors followed by a hands-on session to make some of our own. The group will continue to share ideas and brainstorm for projects.

Week 4: Open Source

This week will look into open-source methods as well as creating some DIY recipes/tutorials to try out.

Week 5: Presentations

During the final week, the group will share and present the recipes and tutorials along with a working prototype created during the class, feeding ideas and reflections back to each other to conclude our time together.

Who is this course for?

Coded Biophilia is designed for anyone involved in creative fields interested in engaging with processes and methods of DIY e-textiles and bio-textiles. No previous experience necessary.

The classes are live?*

Classes are 'live' meaning that you can directly interact with the instructor as well as with the other participants from around the world. Classes will also be recorded for playback in case you are unable to attend for any reason. For specific questions, please email info[at]

About fees

We realise we're living in uncertain times. During this time, we are offering a limited number of pay-what-you-can solidarity tickets for this online class. These are reserved for women, BIPOC, and LGBTQ+ who would otherwise be unable to attend. We are a small organisation with no outside funding and like many, we are also in survival mode and we ask you to consider this when making your donation.

Note: Due to the fact that we are receiving way more requests for Solidarity tickets than we can accommodate, we ask that if you have already taken three that you please purchase a regular ticket in order to make them available to other people. Also, please note that we may send a follow-up email asking you to confirm your eligibility for these tickets. We are trying to make our classes accessible to as many people as possible and greatly appreciate your understanding and support.


Please Note: For tax purposes, we need to include the 19% VAT on top of ticket price.


In order to utilise this feature at checkout, under Registration Type & Tax Receipt Information, select Business (which as a freelancer you technically are). Then enter in your USt.ID.

If you have any questions, feel free to get in touch: info[at]


Giulia Tomasello

Giulia Tomasello is an interaction designer specialized in women’s healthcare in which is dedicated combining biotechnology, interactive wearable and innovation. She is the winner of WORTH Partnership 2020, Re-FREAM Project 2019 and STARTS Grand Prize 2018 awarded from EU Horizon 2020 for her projects Rethinking the Bra, Alma and Future Flora, whose honoring Innovation in Technology, Industry and Society stimulated by the Arts. This year, Giulia also won the World Omosiroi Japanese Award 6th for her multidisciplinary work.

In the last two years she has been investigating the potential of biotechnology and living materials, proposing a biological and sustainable alternative for electronic textiles. She considers herself a maker and an explorer, using diy and open source philosophy to call the boundaries between technology and our bodies into question. By designing alternative scenarios and acting as creative thinker, Giulia develops innovative tools. The intersections between medical and social sciences that she offers are enabled by multidisciplinary collaborations and the symbiosis between her creative and scientific work. Giulia Tomasello encourages knowledge exchange and social integrations in the healthcare field.

She is currently working in partnership with scientists from the University of Cambridge (UK), on Alma: her project based on a wearable biosensor designed to monitor vaginal discharge. Now sponsored by European Commission, in collaboration with Fraunhofer IZM, Berlin.

CODED BODIES is her teaching platform designed to learn basics of Arduino coding, soft wearables, electronic textiles prototyping and an exploration of biological textiles.

Giulia Tomasello is also a visiting lecturer at Politecnico di Milano, and she previously taught at Royal College of Art and Nottingham Trent University in UK.