YouFab Global Creative Awards
YouFab, through its award framework, serves as a platform to unearth and promote new ideas and works that can shape our future. Amy Karle’s work “Regenerative Reliquary” is grand prize winner. This year’s winners were selected from 227 works from 26 countries and will be displayed at Good Design Marunouchi (Tokyo).

COLLABORATIVE FUTURES -Design, Technology and Art-

Award winning works will be on exhibition
including archival version of  “Regenerative Reliquary”:

February 9 2018 – February 23 2018  
GOOD DESIGN Marunouchi (Tokyo)
新 国際 ビル 1F, 3 -4-1 Marunouchi Chiyoda-ku
Tokyo 100-0005, Japan

YouFab 2017 Awards Ceremony & Opening Night Reception
including presentation and a cross talk session featuring Amy Karle
Friday, February 9, 2018 19:00-22:00
100 BANCH 
3-27-1 Shibuya, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, Japan
*RSVP Online

YouFab 2017 Grand Prize “REGENERATIVE RELIQUARY” by Amy Karle | USA

Artist Amy Karle is a pioneering bioartist who uses the body to explore what it means to be human through a unique negotiation of art, design, science and technology. Leveraging the intelligence of human stem cells, she created “Regenerative Reliquary”, a bioprinted scaffold in the shape of a human hand design, 3D printed on the microscopic level in a biodegradable pegda hydrogel with the intention that human Mesenchymal stem cells from an adult donor seeded onto that design will eventually grow into tissue and mineralize into bone along that scaffold.

Referencing the traditional presentation of relics in their reliquaries, “Regenerative Reliquary” is a finely detailed skeleton-like sculpture encased in the mechanical womb of a glass bioreactor. Instead of enshrining the inanimate remains left after death as a memorial to the life that was once there, “Regenerative Reliquary” presents the opposite, depicting the possibility of life.

Karle’s bioart establishes a new form of artwork and helps to establish this emerging field in the art world. Her work also expands opportunities for biomedical applications, healing and enhancing our bodies, and making things that were never possible to create before. 

There is an intelligence beyond our understanding in how life and consciousness is formed.
Regenerative Reliquary” is a scientific and spiritual piece that asks questions of the awe and mystery of life. 

“I focused on regenerative medicine, envisioning a leapfrog workflow where a few cells could be used to grow implantable parts with low risk of rejection. A hand design was chosen as a form uniquely recognizable as human. In addition to implications for healing and enhancing the body, I consider the future of creating with cells in technological, art and design applications. We no longer need to turn to inanimate materials like metal, fabric, or paint to make an object. We can use actual living cells and tissue as materials to build with. The cell, ‘nature’s building block’ can be the basic structural unit for new creations and visions for what we can sustainably create in the future.” – Amy Karle

“Using 3D scanning, Computer Aided Design (CAD), 3D printing, and by collaborating with material and bio-nano scientists and technologists, I created a framework of 3D printed scaffolds to encourage cells to grow into bone. The process started by 3D scanning a hand skeleton to create an initial CAD design. Once the design was established, a microscopically detailed trabecular structure was applied throughout the design to create a scaffold mimicking the spongy part of bone. Non-toxic cell growth media, a custom mixed hydrogel was developed for 3D printing, then the design was printed with microscopic detail with DLP SLA technology. Human Mesenchymal stem cells from an adult donor were expanded and then transferred to 3D print tests for growth. This process can be used for cell culture and this process could also potentially be applied to design and engineer custom bone grafts or other tissue for medical implant in the future.” – Amy Karle



“This work symbolically showcases a fusion of biological materials and FAB, and I applaud it as being a raw expression filled with an “experimental” essence.”
-Hiroya Tanaka
Professor at Keio University | Representative of SFC Social Fabrication Lab

“There is an incredible depth of exploration used for this project that extends into designing with living materials. It exemplifies the shift away from the industrial-only maker processes into the exciting realm of bio-hacking and synthetic biology. She made an astounding use of complex software (from Within Lab) to restructure and artificially fabricate living bone tissue. This is one of the best cases I’ve seen of building an actual element of life not mimicking it. So many of these projects copy from nature and therefore become decoration. Here is a novel bone printing system that uses real stem cells to recreate the bones of a human hand. The many disciplines involved alone is impressive enough – spectacular work from a true artist.”
-Mitchell Joachim
Co-founder, Terreform ONE | Professor at NYU

“The hand is the very symbol of the capacity to manufacture, the first tool of humanity. This choice is not innocent and it carries the voice of a potential evolution where the technical aspect is included not as a tool but as an obvious link to artistic research. It seemed to me very important, this way of thinking that values the fertile relationship between art, design and technology.”
– Cleo Huet
Product designer | Professor at Haute Ecole des Arts du Rhin (HEAR)

“Impressive and poetic work that works on all levels and demonstrates how complexity, both emotional and scientific, and aesthetics can be brought together.”
– Julia Cassim
Professor at KYOTO Design Lab Kyoto Institute of Technology

“Cell culture is one of the most actively researched areas in biotechnology and bio-art. I believe this work manages to create a feeling of vitality through the cultivation of a hand. It also makes one think of death through the use of bones while feeling life through the creation of cells. I think it shows that life and death are not two separate things, but are rather two parallel things that are always existing beside each other.”
-Shiho Fukuhara
Artist | Co-Founder, BCL / CEO, Poiesis Labs


YouFab Global Creative Awards 2017 (YouFab) is a global award for digital fabrication held in FabCafe in order to translate the meaning of the ever-increasing field of digital fabrication for the world through the works submitted by creators around the world.

YouFab has always been posed with the question regarding the future of digital fabrication and creativity. After a few years following the sensational boom with the popularization of 3D printers, there have been considerable advances in making digital fabrication technology more accessible to the public, as well as in finding new applications for digital fabrication and integrating it in other fields. 2017 saw the emergence of many tech startups utilizing digital fabrication technology, which have been greatly influencing social structure and the economy, besides the world of technology. The boundaries of digital fabrication have also been rapidly expanding, making it increasingly difficult to capture in its entirety. 

2017 marks the 6th year of the YouFab Global Creative Awards, which recognize excellence in global digital fabrication. Last year, we redefined FAB as creativity that transcends and combines the digital and physical realms. Over the years, these awards have evolved into a global platform that recognizes and promotes extraordinary trials, initiatives and creative works that bring together digital and physical elements.

There are endless possibilities to what we can create in this world in which creativity blurs the lines between digital and physical, and there are many approaches and perspectives we are yet to imagine. Having said this, it is also true that the degree of perfection and sophistication of products are developing quickly as the industrial world is aggressively entering the field of digital fabrication.

But, we must not stop here. The best is yet to come! We want to challenge the idea of sensible, defy sound judgement and hack common sense. We are truly looking forward to seeing entries that align with this spirit and are looking to support such works. Even if the output is in its drafting stages we will still evaluate the attempt and future potential of the work.

YouFab, through its award framework, serves as a platform to unearth and promote new ideas and works that can shape our future.

YouFab Global Creative Awards Chairman
Toshiya Fukuda

The YouFab Global Creative Awards award wining works will be on exhibition:
February 9 2018 – February 23 2018  
GOOD DESIGN Marunouchi (Tokyo)
新 国際 ビル 1F, 3 -4-1 Marunouchi Chiyoda-ku
Tokyo 100-0005, Japan