Bio-Haptics is an installation translating the human gut microbiome into touch. In an audio-haptic tour, visitors will experience the diversity of bacteria in the human guts and the link with health and wellbeing. We primarily gather information through sight, but touch serves as a medium for perception too. Haptics, defined as technology transmitting tactile information, is the foundation of this biohaptic device, facilitating the perception of microorganisms within your body. We are only beginning to grasp the significance of microorganisms in our health.

Bio-haptics is part of Roland’s practice-based PhD research at Lab4Living, Sheffield Hallam University. His practice focuses on experiencing the microbial world inside and outside of us through different senses. Bio-haptics is an installation using the sense of touch to experience the human gut microbiome. Bio-haptics was built at the Makerspace of TU Delft for the Kom Kijken exhibition in the Old Church, celebrating 400 years of Microbiology after Van Leeuwenhoek. Technical and artistic assistance was given by Matthijs Koerts and Maro Pebo.

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About Roland van Dierendonck

Roland van Dierendonck is a researcher and artist working on the interface of Biology and Technology. He is currently pursuing a practice-based PhD at the Art & Design faculty of Sheffield Hallam University. Bio-haptics is part of his Art-Science practice, developing methodologies and techniques to perceive microbes through different senses. Roland's work has been shown internationally as workshops and exhibition, most recent ones include ISEA in Paris, Conversations in Practice at Yorkshire Art Space, Sheffield, and Caring Futures in Stavanger, Norway. He is also a Senior Researcher in Responsible Applied Artificial Intelligence at Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences. Roland is based in Utrecht, the Netherlands.

Instagram: @rolandvandierendonck

LinkedIn: @rolandvandierendonck


Thanks to

Thanks to Simon Aerts and the organisation behind Kom Kijken for the possibility of developing the Bio-haptics installation at the TU Delft Makerspace.

Technical assistance: Matthijs Koerts, artistic assistance: Maro Pebo