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.


week5: Saffron, Hox Zodiac, Final project ideas

On Tuesday, Maryam Razi explained about the Hox Zodiac project that she worked with prof. Vennesa. She is a curator, eyewear designer, and graphic designer. I was really impressed that she made a font for the Hox Zodiac project and she shared her experience with the dinner component.  Moreover, Maryam showed us a video about saffron crisis and I could realize why the saffron sales with very high price. It also showed up the crop crises that happened over the years and it could also impact on our current climate change.

Week 5: Saffron & The Human Print Project Proposal

On Tuesday, Maryam Razi came to class and shared a presentation about Saffron and talked about her graphic design process for the Hox Zodiac game she created with Prof. Vesna. Maryam designed the game’s typeface to resemble bones, which I thought was a great way to embody the animals through design. I also found the saffron harvesting process poetic and fascinating because it requires tremendous patience and care. Growing and distributing saffron authentically requires an immense amount of delicate work that many aren’t able to do.

Week 5 (2/7 - 2/9) Blog: Hox Zodiac and Food

On Tuesday, guest speaker Maryam Razi spoke about her contributions to the Hox Zodiac project, her work process, and saffron. It was interesting to see the inspirations behind the graphic design of the project, including the typeface that she designed that was inspired by the shape of animal bones. I loved seeing this process because I am also inspired by organic silhouettes in my own artwork.

Week 5: Saffron and Brain Holograms

 On Tuesday, Maryam Razi shared her work in progress board game, HOX Zodiac. Maryam is a graphic designer, eyewear craftswoman and independent curator based in Tehran and Southern California. She spoke of her HOX Zodiac dinner party in Tehran in which she asked a chef friend, Shahram Javanbakht, to prepare dinner for 15 guests; the main course was a baked fish fillet on a green silky round bed.

Week 5- Culinary community, Stained glass ideas

Tuesday started off with a talk from designer Maryam Razi. Razi is a curator, eyewear designer, and graphic designer. Razi designed a typeface for the Hox Zodiac project and also shared about her experience with the dinners component of Hox Zodiac. Razi bravely hosted a dinner with friends in Tehran which brought together perspectives and allowed for a culinary journey from a year of the dragon chef.


On Tuesday, artist Maryam Razi led a short guest lecture, mainly talking about Hox Zodiac, the board game she designed. She designed the entire visual style, element, and fonts of such a project. I was impressed by how she integrated the structure of genes (DNA)into the letters, and how she used the embryos to represent each sign. The design elements and styles she chose are extremely organic, vivid, and “biological”. And the game mechanism is also quite interesting, particularly the part that every player should come up with a story for each recipe card.


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