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06-07-21 Designing Biomaterials for a Circular Economy

with guests Megan Valanidas, Principal Designer, Altimeter Group
and Callie Clayton, Designer and Former Material Design Researcher, Modern Meadow

How does one go about designing materials and products that are truly sustainable? Biodesign is a nascent field seeking to solve the problem of plastics pollution. Today’s guests provide an inspiring example of how one can pick a problem, study it, discuss it, brainstorm with others and help devise solutions that are both innovative and sensible. Graduates of the Rhode Island School of Design, Megan Valanidas and Callie Clayton are both bioneers, bringing together the disciplines of art and science to help create new bio-based materials, products and circular systems.

Megan ValanidasValanidas works as Principal with the Altimeter Group, where she is exploring biodesign and helping to create compostable materials, products and systems that are truly sustainable. Specifically, she is working to ensure that biomaterials function in a seamless and intuitive way once they inevitably rise to everyday use and scaled applications.



Callie ClaytonClayton studied Textile Design and minored in Sustainable Studies. She has been working as a Material Design Researcher at Modern Meadow, a startup that is transforming the material world through the development of textile materials that are both design-conscious and eco-minded.

This forward thinking episode begins with a story walk that leads across an algal bloom and into a new world of bioplastics. Along the way, we suggest resources for further discovery, which are listed below.


eXXpedition all-female voyages exploring the impact of and solutions to plastic and toxic pollution in our ocean –

SHiFT Platform sharing hundreds of solutions to plastic pollution –

“The Breakup: Microbes + Bioplastics” article in Biodesigned by Megan Valanidas –

Creatives in Biotech youtube video series –

Materiom open source library for experimentation with loads of biomaterial recipes –

Ecovative Design mycelium foundry –

Biofabricate resources from consultancy working with brands, startups and investors on biomaterials and sustainability –

Atelier Luma/Algae Project design-oriented studio/research group experimenting with algae to create products via 3D printing and other methods –

Atelier Luma Algae Review newsletter –

Global Community Bio Summit annual conference for biologists and biodesigners –

Fashion for Good sustainable textile innovation platform, with an accelerator program that funds emerging startups –


Voyaging into an Ocean of Plastics

Earth Care Composting for Climate Restoration

Developing a Sustainable Textile Industry for the 21st Century


Story Walking for Answers –

EcoPirate on the Cover –

EcoDetectives Dig Up Some Dirt –

EcoDetective at Bleachery Falls –

Learn more at , email or call 401 529-6830. Connect with Wendy to order copies of FiddlesticksThe Angel Heart or Storywalker Wild Plant Magic Cards.

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