Bioplastic Prospects

What are the manufacturing possibilities for biomaterials? How might we be able to design for the Waste Stream? Who is our end-user when soil is the resting place instead of a landfill? 

In this workshop, you will gain first-hand experience in creating a bio-based, compostable and biodegradable material and will experiment in mixing and pouring bioplastics for future prototyping. Visitors will engage with the subject of Regenerative and Circular Design in this afternoon workshop centered on making and working with biopolymers. We'll discuss near futures where single-use plastics are created for the benefit of soils.

Circular Design considers the source of the material, that material's life-span, and it's final resting place. This process contrasts with the more prevalent 'Cradle to Grave' product cycle. In Regenerative and Circular Design, we work with materials that can enhance our environment. 

Visitors should plan to come ready to experiment with materials. This is a controlled process that can get sticky at times. Crafting attire recommended.


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 |


  • Date: 
  • Time: 
  • Where: Science Gallery
  • Price: FREE

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