— In No Particular Order

Teresa van Dongen

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Year of Birth
1988 (Amsterdam, Netherlands)

Design Academy Eindhoven

Studio/Company Name
Teresa van Dongen

(designer / bio-designer)

Work address
Amsterdam, Netherlands


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Critical People
Kristof Verbeeck, Jan Arends, Korneel Rabaey, Jaap Hoogerdijk, Hans Boddeke, Richard Groen, Bart Joosse, Arend-Jan Weijsters, Lysette Janssen, Joost Teixeira de Mattos, Andrea and Simone

Spark of Life

Teresa van Dongen studied biology before graduating from the Design Academy Eindhoven. Her work focuses on sustainable developments, drawing inspiration from nature and science. She works with light as a visual translation of her exploration into alternative and natural energy sources.

Electrochemically active bacteria can emit small electrical currents in their metabolism while cleaning waste water. Van Dongen explored these specific bacteria as a means to generate electricity for domestic use. In doing so, she developed Spark of Life, a lamp that emits light without the need of an external energy source. This ‘living lamp’ only needs a bit of nourishment in return for its energy. Van Dongen imagines that having to feed and thus take care of it could result in a closer relationship between the lamp and its user.

Developed in collaboration with the Center for Microbial Ecology and Technology (CMET) at Ghent University. Multi-layered VITO CoRE™ electrode was supplied by VITO.


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