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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Last quarter, I was thinking a lot about air and its qualities. Thinking about plants communicating through the release of volatile organic compounds (VOC) and sending cryptic messages by the grace of the winds felt very surreal for me.
For the midterm projects, I wanted to focus on ways to reuse recycled materials. A number of plastics and paper wastes produced everyday world widely and they harm the ecosystem. I saw one video that straw is stuck into a turtle’s nose. This made me realize that a single straw that I use for drinking a cup of coffee from a cafe can be effective for animals from the natural environment. Therefore, I would like to study how those wastes, such as plastics, can reuse in daily life.
For the final project I have decided that I want to focus about food.
Since the "stay home" announcement from the coronavirus I have been just home for a little over a 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. As I started cooking I came to realize the importance of my diet and how that can relate to our environment.
When I was in high school, I really enjoyed this one zombie game called The Last of Us. It was a story driven, single player game that followed the story of two survivors of a zombie apocalypse. The difference between this story and countless other zombie narratives was the the zombie infection was caused by a parasitic fungus known as Cordyceps. Despite the intriguing fictional narrative, I was surprised to find out that Cordyceps are a real thing.
'Famously the very first instance of a computer bug was recorded at 3:45 pm (15:45) on the 9th of September 1947. This "bug" was an actual real-life, well ex-moth, that was extracted from the number 70 relay, Panel F, of the Harvard Mark II Aiken Relay Calculator.
When considering my project ideas I wanted to create a project that captured the social climate of today's society, mainly focusing on the idea of change.We can already see the changes from the way people interact to the flux in the economy. It is already predetermined that there will be huge changes in technology and human experience in the years to follow covid-19.
For the midterm and my final project, I wanted to focus on makeup. My inspiration for wanting to touch upon this topic is twofold. Last year, when I was in Professor Vesna's Honors 177 Collegium, I stumbled across a project from a then student in DESMA 160, Yuna Park. Her project went into detail about chemical free cosmetics. She wanted to focus on creating an app that detailed all the harmful chemicals within specific products, and, to my recollection, also provided healthier alternatives to some makeup compounds.
As I watched the movie “Fantastic Fungi,” the growth and their process fascinated me. Mostly, mushrooms were made from the dead organisms as they decomposed. However, it was so interesting that new life was born through the deaths. Those mushrooms were so diverse in terms of colors, shapes, and characteristics. Among those various kinds of mushrooms, the fungi that glowed in the dark seemed very interesting and I wanted to know why and how it happened.
I really appreciated the work of Finnish artists Pekka Niittyvirta and Timo Aho that Group 1 had presented. The installation titled Lines is a visual representation of potential elevated sea levels should we continue down this trajectory. It manages to convey complex ideas in a simple, effective and beautiful way.
Currently, especially given the limitations of the digital platform, there is a heavy emphasis on data visualization that is dependent on graphs, or charts or maps. How do we spread awareness in a way that is alarming but not overwhelming?
After many of the discussions the past few weeks regarding the life of plastics, especially in conjunction to the effects of coronavirus, our group talked about many possible solutions for the future for plastic solutions, beyond minimizing consumerism.
In reading about Earth Day, I came across an article that talked about with this pandemic and more people staying at home, there has been an increase in personal waste. From food waste to packages, this is the time that these facilities are being used to the maximum.