Angelo Vermeulen is a space researcher, biosystems engineer, biologist and artist. In 2009 he co-founded SEADS (Space Ecologies Art and Design), an international transdisciplinary collective of artists, scientists, engineers, and activists. Its goal is to reshape the future through critical inquiry and hands-on experimentation. Biomodd is one of their most well-known art projects and consists of a worldwide series of interactive art installations in which computers coexist with internal living ecosystems. For the last ten years, he has been collaborating with the European Space Agency’s MELiSSA program on biological life support for space. In 2013 he became crew commander of the first NASA-funded HI-SEAS Mars simulation in Hawai’i. Currently, he works at Delft University of Technology, developing bio-inspired concepts for interstellar exploration. He advises several European space companies, and together with the LDE Center for Sustainability he connects space technology and horticulture to foster innovation in global food production. He is also preparing a series of art/science experiments on board of the International Space Station. Furthermore, Angelo is a Senior TED Fellow, and was selected in 2017 as one of the Top 5 Tech Pioneers from Belgium by the newspaper De Tijd. His TED Talk about his space-related work has garnered over a million views. In this podcast I go into conversation with Angel about the role of imagination in his profession, about bringing our imagination further and the limitations of imagination when it comes to interstellar travel.


00:00:00 Introduction / 00:01:30 Homo Universalis x Community builder / 00:03:00 Biomodd and SEADS Network / 00:06:00 Childeren of our time / 00:08:00 A multidisciplinary approach and unlocking collective intelligence / 00:12:00 Thought-experiment on imagination / 00:14:00 Nature is deeply human? / 00:16:00 Creativity / 00:18:00 Evolving Asteroid Starship / 00:19:00 Representation of colonized imagination / 00:23:00 Predictive and exploratory modelling / 00:27:00 Imagination and analogue missions / 00:30:00 Becoming an astronaut / 00: 33:00 Recommendations

Further Reading Recommendations:

SEADS Network

Publications by Angelo can be found here.

The Three Body Problem by ‎Liu Cixin (trilogy)

The Player of Games by Ian Banks (Culture series)

The Astronaut Selection Test Book by Tim Peake

Carrying the Fire: An Astronaut’s Journeys by Michael Collins

* Please buy your books at your favourite local bookshop : ) *

Favourite podcasts:

99% Invisible by Roman Mars

The Memory Palace by Nate DiMeo

Films & series:

The Last Kingdom (2015)

The Terror (season 1, 2018)

Arrival by Denis Villeneuve (2016)

The Expanse (2015-present)