Diana Scherer explores the relationship between humankind and the desire to control the natural world. Her focus is on vegetable-based material, working with biological processes to intervene using both intuition and science as resources. In particular, her fascination lies in the root system, with its hidden, underground processes. Diana approaches the root system as if it were yarn; the refined, white root structure of grass reminds her of silk and the powerful, yellowish strands of the daisy can be compared to wool.

In the project Interwoven the natural network of the root system turns into a textile-like material. Using templates as moulds, the roots are channelled, forming the new material. During the growth process, the roots conform to the patterns and the root material weaves or braids itself. In collaboration with biologists from the Radboud University in the Netherlands she has developed a technique to control the growth of plant roots.

Interwoven originated as an art project but, shifting between disciplines, from design to art, craft and science, Diana has developed her work into an innovative material research and into the pursuit for a new and responsible textile. Interwoven has been honoured by the New Material Award Fellow 2016. The New Material Award is a biennial prize organised by Het Nieuwe Instituut that challenges artists and designers to develop and apply sustainable materials and innovative technologies. 

To learn about the material, please contact the Building Centre's Content Editor, Anna Marks, amarks@buildingcentre.co.uk