Juan Manuel Castro

Juan Manuel Castro
pas labex
pas Eurias

dates de séjour

15/02/2014 - 15/07/2014


Arts et études des arts

Fonction d’origine

Post-doctorant et artiste

Institution d’origine

Laboratory for Molecular Cell Network & Biomedia Art, Université Waseda (Japon)

Fonction actuelle


pays d'origine


projet de recherche

Exploring the potential of artificial membranes upon creative practice

This project is about the spontaneous transformation of fat into unusual organic spaces. Inspired by nature’s own micro-technologies, this project explores the biophysics of fat to create soft architectures with the potential to protect living matter. Over millions of years, evolution developed a membrane to shelter precious matter choosing a versatile class of molecules, the lipids (fats). All living cells are enclosed by this liquid boundary. This work focuses on subtle properties of this biological interface and the development of artificial membranes. The aim is to grow micro-organic structures using fats and technology based on lipid bilayers and self-assembly processes. Since 2012, I started this investigation as a postdoctoral researcher at Waseda University. I have been trying to define the critical parameters that control membrane growth and the mechanisms of its deformation. The objective of the residency at IMéRA is to develop this research further and present an approach for the emergence of soft architectures with predefined physical properties. It is hoped that this project will give a clear picture of the potential that transdisciplinary creation could develop to generate innovative designs and conceptual frameworks.


Juan M. Castro is an artist and researcher (soft matter) based in Tokyo. He works mainly in hybrid installations on subjects centering on the origin, synthesis and (re) definitions of life; the ever-shifting border between the living and non-living; as well as the philosophical, ethical and technological implications of life-like technologies. His work employs various media including lipids, synthetic molecules, genetic material, swimming droplets, protocell models, living cells, computer graphics, sensors, etc.

Since 2008, he has been presenting his projects internationally in museums, art & science festivals, scientific meetings and academic conferences. His work has been exhibited at Science Gallery, Ireland; NTT InterCommunication Center [ICC], Japan; the Central House of Artists, Russia; the Estonian Museum of Applied Art and Design; the Esther Klein Gallery - Science Center, USA; among others.