Shirley Niemans


The BioCabinet is Shirley Nieman’s (HKU, Utrecht University of the Arts) solution to the black box (white box?) of the Biolab in the Arts University. Since universities are bound to strict health and safety regulations, it is notoriously difficult to exhibit growing biological arts and design projects anywhere else than in the lab itself.

The BioCabinet project is about creating a way to exhibit micro-organisms or living materials in a portable, controlled and safe environment, so we can take these projects out of the bio lab and into the classroom, or the gallery space. The BioCabinet acts like an incubator but looks like a display cabinet you might find in a biology museum. At the core, there is a slightly adapted Bio-Hack Academy Incubator that controls the temperature and airflow within the cabinet. The acrylic shell is airtight and easily sterilizable, and the incoming and outgoing air are HEPA-filtered. Lastly, programmable LED lighting is added to help with the growth of photosynthesizing organisms such as algae or cyanobacteria.

Final project Biohack Academy 2022

Biohack Academy Documentation