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WORTH Partnership Project

Electric Skin

A biodegradable wall light

Electric Skin

The message of the project 

The project's goal is to create meaningful relationships between humans and technology. By reimagining the materiality of their products, they want to elicit a sensory and emotional reaction. The technological future is vibrant and textured.

Electric Skin

The idea behind the project

The concept arose from their participation in the first Biodesign Challenge Sprint, which was held in October 2021. The main goal was to apply biodesign to the electronics sector and its plethora of problems. Their concept began as a hypothetical design for a skin that could power a phone thanks to the protein nanowires contained within it. They used (bio)design thinking to adapt the findings of a Nature study publication to conceptualise a totally biodegradable membrane capable of powering a device just by utilising the humidity in the air. In other words, it is a totally biodegradable renewable energy source.

Their creative method began with speculative thinking and narrative. They logged into their displays and thought about the issues they care about, using the same gadgets they hope to alter. Their interests crossed, particularly around materiality and emotion. How may they improve technology to elicit sentiments of caring and connection? Of great tactility? How might they create products and power sources that inspire a deep connection with nature? They wanted the skin to elicit an emotional response, which would shift human behaviour toward a sense of care for their living machines. They offered stories about a future in which people and technology are kin and coexist.

Electric Skin

What next? 

The goal of the project is to prototype their skin by first putting it in an interior design setting and testing it in its most basic form. The perfect prototype for us is a wall light: it will be a biodegradable, textured item that generates light on its own (not connected to any pothier source). Their objective is to provide a compelling story with a beautiful product while also encouraging further research into this new material: the Electric Skin. The skin's power output may be increased by extensive research and development, and the material has several potential uses. They intend to work with several industry experts to investigate the numerous uses of this self-powered material as it matures.

They generate beauty by designing a wall light that "breathes" energy. They breathe life into the inanimate objects in their surroundings. Their goal is to provoke an emotional, more personal stewardship reaction toward the gadgets in their life. Their bio-centered design aims to move consumer habits toward a connection with their "things" that is intrinsically deserving of care and respect, and that is notably inclusive of nature. By planning in this manner, they begin to integrate non-humans into their houses and plan for a more symbiotic future with other species.

Electric Skin


All project partners have gradually experimented with form and material experiments in order to inspire the ultimate design of a Wall Light - a meaningful product that will represent all of these questions and create a new way of engaging with technology. So far, Nada has used her interior design skills to develop renderings for Paige to 3D print in a variety of materials assembled by Catherine. The next stage is to collaborate directly with the scientists who discovered the nanowires to embed them in their skin research.  



Catherine Euale


Paige Perillat-Piratoine