This course is a research-based design studio that introduces new materials, fabrication and prototyping techniques to develop new design proposals in response to the theme: Biological Design (Fall 2015).
The studio introduces life sciences and biotechnologies to designers, artists, and non-specialists to develop creative and critical propositions that address the social, cultural, and environmental needs of 21st century.
The course will be a pilot study of the first Bio Design Challenge. The final projects will be submitted to a competition and the winning entry will be featured at Biological Design Summit and Biofabricate in 2016.
The topics of the course is organized as follows:
1. What is Biological Design? (What is Biology today and why is it important to non-biologists?)
2. Life before Biology (Abiogenesis, Crystals, Primordial soups)
3. Making Life (Encapsulations, Droplets, Liposomes, Protocells)
4. Synthetic and Design-driven Biology (DNA Design and Assembly. Living Circuits)
5. Designing Life at Different Scales (Biosynthesis, Biofabrication and Bioremediation)
6. Designing Living Interactions (Microbial Ecologies, Mycelium tectonics, Bioflims, Quorum sensing)
7. The Culture of Nature (Why and how nature governs and gets governed, the before and after of the anthropocene)
8. Taking Living Matters into Own Hands (DIY Biology and Medicine).
Through lectures, hands-on workshops, and assignments, students will work on developing living artifacts that can their manifest ideas and learn how to situate their work in relation to the current discourse in contemporary art and design.
The course is co-taught with Dr. Karen Hogan from the University of Pennsylvania's Department of Biology.
The course assumes no background in Biology and will provide the necessary lab training to work in a Safety Level 2 Biology Lab at Penn.
For more information on the course see the website.
Image credits: Penn Biology Teaching Lab.
Student works: 1. Mycelium mesh - Mercan Tara, 2. Living blanket - Frances DiMare, 3. Spoiled meat sensor - Mauricio Novelo, 4. Fermentation boxes - Jacop Rivkin, 5. GFP figuration - Abigail Seligsohn and Frances DiMare, 6. Dog Viewer - Minmin Shi, 7. Microbial QR code - Michael L. Rivera, 8. Microbial terroir - Daniel Greenspan.