Design researcher
and prototyper

Redefining biodesign through a collaboration process with mealworms at the intersection of science, design and nature.

︎ Materials: Polystyrene, wax, cardboard
︎ Tools: Mealworms, Blender, Rhino
︎ Process: Interspecies design, 3D scanning


The mealworm stool aims to show new methods of designing and manufacturing where other organsimas other than the human have an equal role in the design process. 

Mealworms are known to be able to digest polystyrene safely. This stool is the fist of many collaborations to understand how we might harness this ability for design purposes.


Collaborating with non-human species means letting go of our instincts as designers to control every step of the process. Sugar was used to direct the mealworms but there is a natural push and pull between chaos and order which can’t be fully predicted.


A rigorus scientific approach was used to understand the movements and behaviours of mealworms. Sugar trails were injected into polystyrene in various ways to understand which method would create harmonious results.


Wax moulds were then used to fill the cavities created by the mealworms and then 3D scanned for further development in CAD. The forms the mealworms created became the foundation design of the stool.


The stool was further designed in blender and then sliced. Pieces were cut out using a lasercutter and then assembled by hand.

Copyright to Will Eliot