‘BacTerra’ Wins Top Prize at MullenLowe NOVA Awards

30 Aug 2021

The MullenLowe NOVA Awards annually recognize leading ideas from graduating students at London’s Central Saint Martins. Nikoleta Crysikou, MA Material Futures, received this year’s top prize for “BacTerra,” a project that uses bacteria to create alternative ceramics that are self-fired and biologically glazed.

Currently, the universal craft of pottery is reliant on an energy-consuming and carbon-heavy kiln-firing process. Crysikou’s central question, therefore, was whether there were alternative ways to creating ceramics that did not involve kiln firing.

By introducing “BacTerra,” a process where ceramic waste and living organisms are core ingredients, Crysikou hopes to start a conversation about the promising possibilities of biotechnology within pottery. She believes that industrial biotechnology has the potential to address some of the world’s most significant challenges, such as creating alternative materials that are more environmentally friendly.

“I feel really happy and grateful to be named the winner of the MullenLowe NOVA Awards, not only for the recognition and endorsement within the art world and wider industry, but because I will be able to communicate my project to a bigger audience,” Crysikou said.