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.


CRISPR Technology (gene editing therapy)

CRISPR technology, we discussed during the class, was one of the most interesting technologies that can generate and manipulate genes, or gene editing. Through this system, the virus can be removed or can extend one’s life. Ethical concerns are brought up as CRISPR is able to alter human genomes. Even though it is not influential to certain types of cells and tissues, it has a possibility to change egg and sperm cells. This allows altering human’s basic traits, such as height or intelligence (U.S. National Library of Medicine).

CRISPR and Nature

             I found the topic of last class to be extraordinarily interesting in regards to learning about CRISPR (Clusters of Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats) gene editing technology. The CRISPR-Cas9 system is compared to a pair of molecular scissors, allowing for the precise cut of a particular strand or piece of DNA. It has established an entirely new realm of science: genome engineering.

Midterm Proposal- Herbs

160 midterm proposal 

For my midterm project, I want to focus on research on traditional Chinese Medicine- Chinese Herb. How these herbs influence and cure human diseases—also, the culture behind these herbs.

I plan to design an installation focus on Chinese Herb's Aromatherapy. By using the aroma of herbs, through interactive smell, to recording people's reflections such as facial expressions and mental changes. The aroma printer will print out the results about people's reactions to different herbs. 

(Midterm) Reusing Recycled Materials

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.


[Midterm Topic] Climate and Diet

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. 


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