WELCOME TO DESMA 160

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.


BLOGS

Year of the Ox + Plankton

Happy belated Chinese New Year! Hoping the best for the year of the Ox. The most prominent memory I have of an ox or cow is when I saw this highland cattle in a field and just so happened to have my camera on me. I love the highland cow’s fluffy bangs and think they are so funny and cute. I felt like the cow was almost posing for me.

Noise Aquarium + Noise Pollution

In class, we enjoyed some clips of the Noise Aquarium and Ocean meditation together. First of all, I really like the idea of the Noise Aquarium as I have never imagined how people can dive into the Ocean and listen to what marine animals will be listening to which I guess mankind is not able to do so. It is so sad that we cannot enjoy it in person during the pandemic.

Natural Dyes!!

I thoroughly enjoyed this last week’s workshop. It was a great time to me getting to work on the dyes along with my classmates and learning about Kelp from Emma. For my natural dye I decided to use ivy as my choice of invasive species. It was the most accessible plant in my area but it actually worked out quite well.

 

Natural Dyes and update on my kombucha

In class, I tried the first-ever natural dyeing in my life (thanks Emma!) and before that, I didn't even know what the purpose of collecting those invasive plants was during the hike. I know some natural dyes in food, like Indian turmeric rice and Butterfly pea flower tea. But I never imagined people out there are trying to do natural dyeing with ingredients that are out of my expectation, for example, chestnuts, onion skins, and brazilwood.

Experiment Updates + Kelp

I really enjoyed last week's class and how hands on we were! I have never tried natural dying before this. For reference the plant I collected is shown on the right. I was surprised to find the color turned into a bright yellow. The plant had bright green leaves, reddish stem, and the inside was more of a light yellow.

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