How can we better design compostable materials? No matter how we dispose of it, most plastic ends up in bacteria-rich ecosystems like landfills, oceans, or road-side ditches.

Traditional plastics damage these ecosystems, but we are moving towards a future where all single-use plastics could be made from renewable biomass sources such as wood chips or recycled food waste. These ‘bioplastics’ are capable of being composted by soil and marine bacteria.

Get closer to the artist behind 'A Place for Plastics', a collection of prototypes for bioplastic objects designed to quickly decompose in bacteria-rich environments. 



Megan Valanidas is an industrial designer specializing in bioplastic application and interactivity. Her work establishes and employs methods for Designing our Waste Stream by collaborating with extra-human species such as locally-present decomposers. As a designer, researcher and artist, Megan focuses on near future and bio-inspired solutions.

Megan was trained in Studio Arts with a focus on wood, metal and plastics fabrication as well as French linguistics at the University of Arizona. She earned her Master of Industrial Design (MID) from the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). Valanidas has been a sustainable futures instructor at RISD and James Madison University where she has taught industrial design with a focus on research and speculative investigations. Valanidas was a featured speaker and exhibitor for Biodesign: From Inspiration to Integration. She has presented internationally on the topic of bioplastics and the environment. In addition, Valanidas has been a science educator, focusing on sustainable farming in extreme environments.

Valanidas was raised in a log cabin built by her parents on the Chesapeake Bay. She grew up in a small community founded by plant pathologists in the 1940’s named Scientists’ Cliffs. The community is dedicated to preserving watershed lands and making them publicly accessible. 

instagram: @valanida | facebook: @meganvalanidas |

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  • Where: Science Gallery
  • Price: FREE - DROP IN

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