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.


Progress on Final Project

As a refresher, my project deals with building out a sustainable beauty product, free of the toxic compounds that damage the skin, that will then be packaged using mycelium to reduce the great plastic pollution problem that permeates our society today. Through this process of giving makeup a cleaner look and feel, this proposal strives to refind our natural balance.

Final Project Progress

    This blog will focus on the updates of my final project. My final project will be conducted through Ableton Live. I will be using the data from Coronavirus and I will be translating that data into sound and potential sound sculpture. After hearing the talk with Bill Fontana I was amused and interested in the idea of a sound sculpture.

(summary of blogs) Of building a poetic reality: an homage to nature and her systems

I started my blog with posting about sourdoughs made form ancient Egyptian yeast cultures. This one was followed by some writing about salt, artificial intelligence and ritual magic. Further along I touched on air quality in an artistic sense and on how to appreciate clouds. I also took a look from the distance onto planet Earth and the human made satellites that are tracking and documenting Earth’s wellbeing. (Let’s stay in space) I mentioned art in space – to be seen with the naked eye. From there I explored how slime mould can hep to map dark matter.

Connections of the class

Going over my past blogs, I realized I seemed to focus on understanding the topic and mechanisms embedded into each process. This learning process as well as how learning has changed due to the pandemic are ideas that interest me. Now that everything is online, our notions and way of engaging in this content are very up to us. It is up to us how much to work, in my opinion, because as you are by yourself, you are your only drive in a way. It is hard to hear encouragements over a video or camera and take them to heart. 

Connecting the Dots

             During Thursday's class I sat back and from a 1,000 foot view I looked at all the blogs I had written thus far. In my first blog "The Art of Food Starting With Bread" I discussed how food was an artist's tool to express themselves. I mentioned one Instagram artist in particular, Vineyard Baker, and how her work was certainly inspiring in regards to the extent of detail and imagination that went into her edible pieces.

CRISPR - Covid-19 Testing

CRISPR is a technology for editing genomes by cutting targeted specific regions on the DNA sequences. This technique allows researchers to easily alter DNA sequences and modify gene function such as correcting genetic defects, treating and preventing the spread of diseases. Recently this technique has been used for the Covid19 tests as a possible solution for quicker tests for a wider population.

CRISPR Gene Editing

During the discussion, I found CRISPR​ to be really interesting technology on how it can generate and edit genes and how this can change someones life. Before the discussion in class today I had no idea that there was such a thing. So I did more research on my own and found this video that was about CRISPR and thought was helpful. 


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