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.


Week 2 Blog - Maize and agriculture industrialization

The lectures this week covered a wide variety of interesting subjects like microcopies, the power of 10, hexagons, carbon, flour, and wheat to name a few. However, while all very intriguing, what captured my interest the most was Alvaro Azcarraga’s presentation on maize. Thanks to all his fascinating research, I was hungry to know more. My interest in the presentation and this topic of maize was first cultivated by Michael Pollan.

tensile and the pencil

                I was so excited to hear that we will be studying the work of Buckminster Fuller, he has been my hero! I mention him in all my application essays. I'm currently participating in the Design Science Studio in affiliation with the Buckminster Fuller Institute. I believe that art and design is important for the future because if we can't see it, we can't create it. Our assignments in this class require us to  

Week 2: Bread

This week we baked bread, which I was really excited about because I'm really into baking cakes. I've only made bread once before and it was Hokkaido Milk Bread, so the process was very different from the no-knead method. I mixed flour, salt, yeast, and water together and left it out overnight to rise.


Hexegonal patterns, bread, honey and regenerative ag

In Velarde New Mexico, on the Rio Grande river between Taos and Sante Fe, my Uncles Andre and Pierre and my Grandmother Tutu spent many years on a farm. There, my Uncle Andre grew apples. He was also a beekeeper, tending to a colony of bees and selling honey at the Santa Fe farmers market each week in little jars with the yellow label, “Eves farm.” Cultivating the Bee population on his farm helped him with the pollination and care of his crops. 

Bread & Butter

As I mentioned in class, Mark Bittman's bread recipe was a staple in the immunology lab I worked for. I remember by boss would pick me up in the morning, we were neighbors, and we would drive into the city together. Every Wednesday, her husband Karl would wake up early and make two loaves. One for his family, and one for our lab family. I remember sitting in the passenger seat of her car, the warm bread nestled in a woven basket under a gingham kitchen towel keeping my lap warm. 

Assignment 2: Carbon Connections, Bread & GMOs

Since our last class, I’ve been traveling. I’m on a road trip; constantly shifting locations and seeing new groups of people. Along the human highway I’ve begun to notice the similarities and differences between the groups of people I interact with. Although I haven’t been on the road too long and our lecture was just two days ago, I’ve seen how universally we connect.

Week 2 assignment

   This week's lectures were very interesting, they drove us to pay really close attention to small things like the Molecular structure of salt, carbon molecules, bees...... and we watched some videos of how to make bread, GMO, which the way to make processed food. In this case, we can really see the shape of the structure very detailly and closely like hexagons. What impresses me most is that many of the structures are made up of regular patterns, like the honeybees' honey wall, which is made up of regular hexagons.


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