Natsai Audrey Chieza is a designer on a mission — to reduce pollution in the fashion industry while creating amazing new things to wear. In her lab, she noticed that the bacteria Streptomyces coelicolor makes a striking red-purple pigment, and now she’s using it to develop bold, color-fast fabric dye that cuts down on water waste and chemical runoff, compared with traditional dyes. And she isn’t alone in using synthetic biology to redefine our material future; think — “leather” made from mushrooms and superstrong yarn made from spider-silk protein. We’re not going to build the future with fossil fuels, Chieza says. We’re going to build it with biology.
Natsai Audrey Chieza is a trans-disciplinary design researcher whose fascinating work crosses boundaries between technology, biology, design and cultural studies.
This talk was presented at a TED Institute event given in partnership with BCG. TED editors featured it among our selections on the home page. Read more about the TED Institute.