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Mindful Microbe Mask

This mask is made from algynyl, canvas and a leather strap that incorporates a Petri dish interface filled with living bioluminescent dinoflagellates that glow when agitated, in this case by sound vibrations when the wearer speaks.

The goal of this project was to create a wearable device that includes a living component. We started with sketches of many different ideas and converged on the idea of a mask that holds a living organism.

Our mask body is created with algynyl, canvas, a leather strap and a Petri dish interface made of PLA and a stock Petri dish. The user fills the Petri dish with bioluminescent dinoflagellates--aquatic micro-organisms that glow when agitated--and seals the lid. Once the lid is snapped into the mask and the mask is put on, vibrations from speech cause the algae to bioluminesce.

The user is challenged to consider how their speech while wearing the mask disturbs the organism, creating awareness of the subtle ways we impact the living world around us.

Project website

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