Suzanne Lee

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Lee, Suzanne

Suzanne Lee is the Founder and Director of BIOCOUTURE LTD, a pioneering and unique consultancy focused on bringing emergent biomaterials, biodesign and biofabrication to future consumer products.  BIOCOUTURE clients span two worlds. By partnering with key material innovators and global brands we’re visioneering how a bio-designed future will look, feel and function. We believe synthetic biology offers solutions to today’s sustainability challenges as well as envisioning radical new product types and functionality. 

The BIOCOUTURE clothing project has received worldwide media attention featuring in many design books and journals, most recently in William Myers 2012 book ‘Biodesign: nature, science, creativity’. Suzanne is author of the groundbreaking text ‘Fashioning The Future: tomorrow’s wardrobe’ published by Thames & Hudson. She speaks and consults internationally and is a TED Senior Fellow. 


Wed July 10 | 9:00 - 10:30 | Plenary Session

‘Haute Couture’ refers to the well-defined standards in custom dressmaking. Design and construction are hand-executed ensuring the unique specifications of each customer are met. Nineteenth century couturier, Charles Frederick Worth, was revolutionary for combining individual tailoring with standardisation enabling accurate duplication of designs around the world. Couture’s personalised, precise tuning of desired characteristics seems to share striking synergies with synthetic biology.     

Materials engineered from scratch offer radical visions to our contemporary search for more sustainable solutions. The ultimate flexibility and creativity of design and construction allows for unprecedented, elegant efficiencies. What new opportunities and challenges do the ability to engineer novel organisms present? Can couture biology meet our nutritional, wellbeing, material, social, environmental and economic needs?     

What does the world of synthetic biology mean for tomorrow’s designers when design, materials and manufacture are no longer discrete fields?