Bacteria Living Type Experiments

September 10, 2015

Some people create type with pen and paper or on screens. Some people use science to create immunotherapies. One Israeli designer, Ori Elisar, combines his knowledge of science and design to create letterforms from bacteria in petri dishes. After completing degrees in linguistics and archeology, Elisar is delving into his love for the study of language and hebrew letterforms through his latest biodesign project about living languages.

Elisar creates inidivual letterform in petri dishes by combining bacteria and a protein called algal that the bacteria feeds on. He then applies heat to start the algal consuming process, which creates the new letterforms. The result is surprisingly beautiful - little fuzzy letterforms with a strangely mesmerising blue glow.

But what is the point of all this you might ask? Why would someone ever want a letterform made out of bacteria? Apart from being aesthetically beautiful, a form of inspiring art in itself, Elisar says that he eventually wants to create an ink that when applied to paper becomes a living organism and grows on its own. “This is an interesting suggestion for design that works on its own. You think of the word or the letter - what you want to say - and it does the design itself.”

Images: Fast Co Design