Radha Shah's blog

Week 8: Final Project Update

My final project for this class has been a really great process and experience so far. I have done a lot of research on current methods of packaging including chemical hazards, landfill waste, and resource conservation issues. I still have to dive into finding solutions for packaging that are durable, natural, and last long. So far, I am thinking about using the betel leaf or banana leaf as a means to wrap and store food. The banana leaf has many great properties and is durable to hold food. In south Indian culture, the banana leaf is primarily used to serve and hold food.

CRISPR Technology

This week, we discussed CRISPR technology, something I had never seen or heard of before. Because this topic was completely new to me, I was extremely captivated and interested by the lecture. CRISPR essentially “allows researchers to easily alter DNA sequences and modify gene function.

Week 6 : The Noise Aquarium Installation

This week, we visited the ArtSci installation entitled, The Noise Aquarium. Entering the simulated experience was extremely intense. The noises were very loud and the screen was eerie. The experience was also interactive for its audience as a person could step on a pad and balance to better understand noise pollution and micro plastics that flood the ocean. The entire set-up was very immersive and almost surreal. I could tell a lot of work had been put in to really affect the viewer as they entered.

Week 4 : Biomedical Library + Project Ideas

This week was extremely fun as we visited the Biomedical Library to view a variety of different ornaments, books, toys, posters, and artifacts. Russell showed us a drug abuse chart from the 1970’s that outlined all the different types of drugs and the effects they have on your brain. He also showed books created by artists that were very meticulously crafted and beautiful. One of the books was made entirely out of lead that I found incredibly interesting and another out of plastic.

Week 2 : Hox Zodiac

For the second week of class, we focused on the Hox Zodiac as it ties to Chinese culture. We discussed every animal on the chart along with its connection to each student in the classroom. Each animal has different characteristics that pertain to different traits of every individual under that sign.

A New Age Material: Mycelium

During the third week of class, we discussed topics related to mushrooms, mycelium, and plastic waste. We cooked various types of mushrooms in class and discussed how they are an important part of our natural ecosystem. I don’t really like mushrooms, so I didn’t eat them.

Midterm Presentation

After understanding the issues with plastic waste and pollution as well as our interest with food as a classroom, I decided to combine the two ideas to think about ways of packaging food that have no negative impact on the environment. My friends dad is in his initial stages of starting a company that provides a breakfast/lunch/dinner service in the form of prepackaged Indian foods to consumers. This is similar to a "tiffin service", however is put in disposable packaging that can also be saved in the freezer for up to three months.

Week 1 Cooked : Air

Wednesday’s class and movie was very captivating. Further than the content of the documentary, the way in which it was filmed and edited was tastefully done as well.

The entire episode was centered around the importance and the cultural value of bread and grain. The simplest recipe is shown modified and re-imagined through different societies and generations. I never looked this far into the production of bread, but this documentary got me extremely interested in the process.

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