Students from MA Material Futures and MA Art and Science collaborate on international Biodesign competition.
With the phrase “biology is the new digital” ringing in everyone’s ears, Carole Collet, Professor for Sustainable Futures, sets the scene for the students taking part in 2017’s Biodesign Challenge. Working across MA Material Futures and MA Art and Science, they are exploring the field of biodesign and its potential applications to reduce our impact on the planet.
The students were introduced to the theme of ‘Biodesign and the Anthropocene’ across three days of talks, workshops and experiments ranging from sequencing the genome of bacteria and the wonders of slime mould to massaging bananas for DNA extraction. Run in collaboration with Tom Ellis Lab, Imperial College, the project will interrogate the value and ethics of biodesign and the future possibilities of this fast-emerging discipline. Students will explore the question: How could biodesign help respond to critical challenges of the anthropocene epoch and help develop new sustainable design propositions?
This is the first year the competition has extended its scope beyond the USA to include international organisations. One proposal will be selected to represent the College at the Biodesign Summit at MOMA in New York this June, to be exhibited alongside nineteen other universities’ submissions.
The project is led by Prof Carole Collet, Director of the Design & Living Systems Lab, and will be taught with the support of artist and Pathway Leader MA Arts and Science Heather Barnett, Material Futures lecturer Austin Houldsworth, and Course Leader Kieren Jones.