Special Topics in Design | Media Arts: Biotechnology and Design
Bio-designers use cells, DNA molecules, proteins, and living tissues to highlight ethical, social, and aesthetic issues that influence contemporary life. Introduction to how bio-design blurs distinctions between science and design through combination of design and scientific processes, creating wide public debate. Introduction to new sciences that influence food we eat, clothes we wear, and environment in which we reside. Students challenged to think outside the box, explore divergent and convergent thinking, and seek out knowledge and inspiration from ideas that drive nano- and bio-technology. Peer collaboration encouraged to develop speculative design projects that address issues covered.
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Please contact Prof. Victoria Vesna if you are interested in joining this class.
I am building a mesh network inspired by networks and swarm behaviours. When we think about swarms, we typically visualize flocking behaviours of birds and insects. They move as individual autonomous entities, but work and act together to accomplish common goals.
There are many mathematical models to simulate this phenomenon, producing complex group behaviours and patterns with simple sets of prescribed rules to individual agents:
During the week, Sebastian and I met through the Zoom meeting to work on the collaboration. We have the same theme for reducing plastic wastes but include two different subtopics. For Sebastian, he will focus on "Reshaping beauty" by creating the make-up product like a concealer without harmful chemical substances. My presentation will be focused on designing the package of the concealer without using the plastic.
Over this past week, Sung and I have decided to collaborate under the unifying theme of "Targeting Plastic Pollution". After speaking over Zoom, we have concluded that we will introduce our combined projects with a title slide representing this universal theme and then individually delve into our respective proposals on how we each in our own unique way intend to achieve such goals, myself through the use of mycelium packaging and Sung with remaking plastic waste into household items.
Over the last weekend, I spent time watching Spaceship Earth and I absolutely loved it...during the beginning. I was so excited and enthusiastic for the group of adventurers when they first successfully completed construction of the Heraclitus and the Buckyball configuration. But as the story slowly started to turn from a positive to negative light, I almost in a way started to resent the quirky voyagers. I started to resent John Allen and Margaret Augustine, the masterminds behind the Biosphere 2 project.
After the "stay home" policy from the coronavirus I have been just home for a little over two month now. And because I am stuck at home I have been cooking a lot. I've been so used to just either buying food from school or packaged food at grocery stores that I didn't even realize that I haven't actually cooked for myself in a very long time.
(This is just an update on where I am for my final project)
For my final I will go ahead with the idea I developed for the midterm. I have been in contact with Cydney Vicentina from the Honors177 class. Her midterm proposal can be find here: https://www.biotechart.artscinow.com/node/1905
As our interests and thought seem to be meeting, we will collaborate on a text for the class publication, and as discussed with Alvaro, we might create a seperate category within the publication for this.
The progress I have made towards my final project has been consolidating and specifying my ideas. I realized during my research that I was straying further and further from my main interest, design, and I wanted to refocus on how design can reduce the cognitive load of being sustainable. The most pertinent idea behind this project is to use nanotechnology to become more sustainable while being able to work a nine to five job.
During Thursday's class, I met with Alvaro and we discussed my project going forward. He connected me with Sung Hong, who is based in Korea, in an exploration for a possible collaboration between our two projects. My project focuses on creating a sustainable makeup concealer, made entirely out of natural compounds, that is then packaged with mycelium in an effort to reduce plastic waste.
For my final project, I would like to work on the plan that I introduced for the midterm. As a reminder, I was focusing on the seriousness of plastic wastes and a way to use those recycled materials. There are various methods to utilize plastic wastes, such as water bottles or containers, in which they could turn into totally new products.
After looking back at my blogs for the past eight weeks I saw that there were many times where I either did further research about a topic that was given during class or did a research about an artist that focused on one of our topics. I talked about an bioartist using yeast to create vanishing photographs, I talked about rice and how rice plays such a big role in my Korean culture, how pencils are made, the connection between air pollution and covid 19 death rates, affects on how coronavirus has helped the environment, climate and diet, and crispr gene editing.
For my final project, I'll be expanding on my midterm, which was a design proposal for a Bokashi-style composting bin meant for small spaces and families on a consumer level. For my final project, I'd like to expand on the ideas of compost, waste, and community organization both in a practical and speculative way.
Flipping back through all of my old blogs, I found a pattern that was fairly predictable, and greatly explains why I chose the topic I did for my midterm project. Overall, looking at blogs from the class as a whole, there was a large focus on taking the topic of that week and finding artists that would create based around that topic (typically a speculative design).