Pieces of dead flesh hybridized and brought back to life, self-replicating nano-robots or transgenic porcupine sowing seeds. Matières actives, matière à fiction is a research and an experimentation around myths and scientific experiences of yesterday and tomorrow. Between artificialized bacteria and animate elements, do these forms of materiality not call for questioning the perception and consideration of living things ? Besides, don't they lead to reformulate the role of the designer and to renew his imaginations ?

Known under the term Active Matter, this field of technological research covers vast scientific fields, from Biotechnologies to Nanotechnologies through Robotics and Science matter. Reality and fiction intersect to develop projects which plan to imitate and reproduce phenomena of the Living, to program matter as one programs a computer, to make reactive sets of it to external stimuli, capable of self-assemble and organize on the basis of an internal language.
Do the dreams of some researchers to resuscitate extinct species and the desire for atomic scale matter control not seem to testify to a human fantasy to dominate Nature and the Living ? To equal the almighty creator, to give life to matter or to take it away like the creature of the Golem.

Through the imagination of living matter and the link it seems to weave with fiction, this research work analyzes the new design paradigm that the emergence of this material suggests for the designer. Because if it claims to revolutionize design methods, from matter to object, what are its impacts on the designer's methods of thinking and acting ? And how can he apprehend the thought of an object that is no longer static but dynamic, subject to variations in form ? And what ethical or moral issues does it raise in the face of genetic modification, the programming of living beings, materials and objects ?

Organized in the form of a printed edition, this research revolves around two approaches to the imaginary.
The first is historical and refers to works of literature and fiction, to scientific experiments that nourish the imagination with living matter and to transdisciplinary work of yesterday and today.
The second is a plastic experiment placed in confrontation of the crossed theories throughout the progression. In a narrower format, these pages mark breaks in reading and allow us to build a reflection on the designer's projection methods to design objects with multiple faces.

Series of research and experiments about living matter.

Available for free reading on Issuu
Matières actives, matière à fiction - 2019
Thesis director, Rémi Sussan
Credits TypeFont, Kerozene New - Eliott Grunewald