Marin Sawa

Marin Sawa

Dr Marin Sawa is a designer and researcher at the intersection of design and science. Her doctoral design-based research, done in collaboration with algal scientists at Imperial College London and completed in 2016, led to the development of Algae Printing, a novel method for depositing and growing cyanobacteria and microalgae on solid surfaces. With its strong emphasis on functionality and scientific realism, her doctoral work is a novel example of the fusion of biodesign and experimental design. Marin continues to lead several collaborative interdisciplinary projects based on her development of Algae Printing including applications in bioenergy, food and air purification with special emphasis on urban living. She has published – see below- and exhibited internationally.

Her areas of research and practice are:

  • The domestication of algal biotechnology in the urban environment
  • A spectrum of biodesign in algal biotechnology: from research to bioindustry to real life
  • The role of a designer in scientific research
  • The laboratory for design practice
  • Inkjet printing technology for biofabrication and semi-living systems


Sawa, M., 2016. The laboratory life of a designer at the intersection with algal biotechnologyarq: Architectural Research Quarterly- Special: Architecture as Synthetic Biology, Volume 20, Issue 1, pp. 65-72.
Sawa, M. 2015. A design-led Investigation at the intersection of algal biotechnology and design. [Unpublished doctoral thesis] Central Saint Martins College of Arts and Design, University of the Arts London.
Sawa, M., 2010. Algaerium. [Masters thesis], Central Saint Martins College of Arts and Design.
Sawa, M., 2012. Algaerium. In: Myers, W. (ed.) Bio Design: Nature Science Creativity. London: Thames Hudson, pp. 88-91.
Sawa, M., 2012. Interview. In: Myers, W. (ed.) Bio Design: Nature Science Creativity. London: Thames Hudson, pp. 266-267.

Book features
(Due 2016) In: Future Food
Sawa, M., 2013. Algaerium Bioprinter. In: Gast, M., ed., smart technology – new design. Leipzig: Leipziger Messe GmbH.
Sawa, M.,2013. Algaerium. [Exhibition catalogue] Biodesign exhibition, Architectural Institute, Rotterdam.
Sawa, M., 2013. Algaerium Bioprinter. [Exhibition catalogue] Alive exhibition, Foundation EDF, Paris.

2015: Przemiany Festival/Anthropocene –Design an epoch, Copernicus Science Centre, Warsaw, Poland
2014: Syn.De.Bio, Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL, London
2014: Mediamatic Bio Industry, Mediamatics, Amsterdam: Presented ‘Algaerium Bioprinter: printed superfood’
2014: Sustain Talks 3.6: Algae: Green Gold, Royal College of Art: Presented ‘Interweaving Algal Biotechnology with Sustainable Urban Living’