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.


Research from Thursday 4/16 On Data Visualization

This blog is a response to the research that was done during our class time on Thursday, April 16th, 2020. Our research was directed towards the Coronavirus pandemic, and we wanted to brainstorm ideas on creating data visualization projects related to the Coronavirus. Currently, news sites such as The New York Times have created data visualization maps that are alarming, and cause the public a sense of anxiety and panic with no hope.

Environmental Changes (Air/ Pollution) due to Coronavirus

As we discussed “pollution” in the class, we can link this topic with coronavirus as positive environmental changes are beginning to show these days. As a number of industrial companies are shut down, the air quality of the world gets better as the clear sky can be seen from the satellite.

Especially, there is one report related to the European continent that nitrogen dioxide levels in Europe become lowered. As the images are shown below, NO2 emission (the red part of the map) is shown less in April 2020 compared to 2019.

(Pollution) Affects on how Coronavirus has helped the Environment

Since the coronavirus many of us went under a lock down and under a stay- home policy. A lot of stores, factories, and shops closed down and forced the people to just stay home. Many of the industrial activity has been shut down in many part of the world especially places like in China or Europe. 

Due to the coronavirus there has been some positive affects to the environment.  As I mentioned above, the lack of industrial activity in China has helped the air pollution to drop significantly. 

(Response) Group Presentation

After watching the recorded videos I wanted to respond to some of the presentations that I thought were really interesting! I especially found what Ariana shared with us was really interesting on the ecological footprint and how it shows the percentage of your carbon footprint and the CO2 emissions and how it gives you the option to explore the solutions and see the map and the graph of the world. I also thought the video about transforming the carbon emission to ink was very cool. All of the presentations were so interesting like the two artist that were mentioned in the beginning.

Air & pollution

The Designer Behind Smog Diamonds Wants To Bring To Beijing A ...Designed by Dutch company Studio Roosegaard, the Smog Free Tower is a 7 m tall and 3.5 m thick outdoor air purifier. It was presented as a potential solution to air pollution in urban spaces and brought to life via a Kickstarter campaign in September 2015.

(Pollution) Clear skies but full oceans

When it comes to Covid-19 and its effect on pollution, one of the most noticeable factors all over the world has been the decrease in emissions and the visible effect on the quality of the air. However, this doesn't mean that any problems have been solved regarding pollution, and there are many other unseen side effects of the virus regarding waste.

Pencils Continued: Pencil Art in Advertisements

            I came across an advertisement today and it reminded me about our discussion of pencils, therefore I wanted to expand upon the Tuesday blog posting I originally made regarding this topic. The ad was a sponsored post on Instagram by the agency Ogilvy and Mather that promoted Faber-Castell's, a stationary supply store, top of the line artist pencils.

Transportation Futures

Through this quarantine, I have noticed that the idea of humanity taking a break and shutting off is not okay for some. Of course, there is the reason as jobs are no longer available, resources are being hoarded, and there is the everlasting fear of this virus. To me, this is a chance for us to take a breath and just stop. It allows us to think about what our lives consisted of and now what it has become. It makes us truly think about what is important and what is truly necessary. The most important thing to me right now is thinking about our place on this planet.

(Carbon) Carbon Nanotubes and Vaccines

            This past week we discussed carbon, air, and pollution. Jodi, Dario, and I were paired in the carbon group and decided in light of the coronavirus pandemic that we wanted to focus on creating a filter that was accessible and useful to the public. The end goal behind this mask would be to filter out processed carbon that is capable of carrying virus particulates that infect the population. A diagram of our proposal can be shown below:

How Long CORONA-19 Can Stay in the Air

As Coronavirus 19 becomes severe, a whole world is under a state of emergency. About one million eight hundred thousand cases of Coronavirus are shown and one hundred thousand deaths are reported. W.H.O declares COVID-19 as the pandemic and warns people for their safety. Due to this circumstance, most schools are remotely instructed as well as restaurants and other public services are closed. “Social distancing” is emphasized by the government.


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