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 6

This week was unique due to the fact that I came down with a cold and was unable to attend class on Tuesday. Nevertheless, I was able to make progress with my kombucha brew and make plans over Zoom with my teammates for our bread project.

Week 6: Project Update

This week, my group and I finalized our project concept and how we would like to proceed with documenting our final project. Our focus is finding the relationship and connection between different types of bread that use different kinds of grain. For our project, the three of us each chose a different kind of grain to focus on for the rest of the quarter.

Week 6: Project Update 2/16

For our Hox Zodiac dinner project, Charles and I researched more about the Dragon and the Snake, our respective animals. Charles found that they each have a lucky flower, the hyacinth and the orchid, which we could arrange and incorporate into our dinner table set design. I also did some more research on the science behind our animals. The dragon was more difficult to research because it is a mythical animal, but I did find some more information about its biology.

Week 6: Project Progress

Week 6: (2/16)


We did more research on our animals and when it came to the table setting, I found out that the Snake’s lucky flower is the orchid and the Dragon’s flower is the hyacinth. I think we can incorporate elements like these into the table design alongside the retrospective color, element, and other characteristics of our animals.

week 6 - concept for final project: bread venn diagram

During this week, my group and I finalized our project idea of the bread venn diagram. We wrote an abstract together focusing on that bread is the basis of human existence. Not only does it provide us sustenance, but it is also one of the greatest pleasures in life. Starting from just flour, water, and yeast, baking these simple ingredients are able to provide the nutrients we need to survive.

Week 6- Dragonfly Wings, Light Refraction, Progress

This week we have been able to hone in on our projects and solidify details of how we want to work. Considering I am making a window, I have begun thinking more about the light involved in my project. One of the key purposes of a window is to allow light into a space and so I think that considering the light interaction with my piece will be very important. I began thinking about this because Professor Vesna sent me a picture of a closeup dragonfly wing.


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