Installation view. Photograph: Sahir Ugur Eren

December 8, 2014 / Events, News
The Future Is Not What It Used to Be  

An expanded version of Designing for the Sixth Extinction is on display at the Second Istanbul Design Biennial until December 14 2014, curated by Zoe Ryan and Meredith Carruthers. Designing for the Sixth Extinction imagines a series of new machine that might repair toxic landscapes and forestall imminent ecological collapse. For the biennial, Ginsberg offers insights into the "ecology" of her own research for one of these machines, a "bio-remediating slug."


May 14, 2014 / Daisy, Events
When Fictions Come to Life


Last week I spoke at What Design Can Do, the design conference that explores new visions and roles for design. The Dutch Minister for Education, Culture and Science Jet Bussemaker opened the conference calling for a new design persona: the ‘competent rebel.’ Bussemaker describes this designer as one who can change the way we look at things. As What Design Can Do writes, Bussemaker "wants to ensure the education of ‘competent rebels and specialists side by side. Our technical capabilities combined with our hopes and dreams.’"

I talked about merging of fictions and reality at the interface of design and synthetic biology. Here's my talk

The V&A Atrium at the Friday Late: Synthetic Aesthetics. Photo: Victoria and Albert Museum. 

May 1, 2014 / Events, News
V&A Friday Late: Synthetic Aesthetics

Our biological takeover of the V&A was a fantastic launch for the Synthetic Aesthetics book at last week’s Friday Late. Over the evening, more than 4000 visitors experienced over 20 workshops, installations, talks and chatted with Imperial College’s synthetic biologists working in the Live Lab right in the V&A Atrium. The programme is here, and see photos from the event here. David Willetts, the UK Minister for Science and Universities, introduced our authors' talk and panel, chaired by The Economist's Oliver Morton. 

Some of the events:

LIVE LAB
Spotlight Space, Grand Entrance
A functioning synthetic biology lab in the grand entrance places this experimental field front and centre within the historic home of the V&A. Conducting experiments and answering questions from visitors, the lab will be run by synthetic biologists from Imperial College London’s EPSRC National Centre for Synthetic Biology & Innovation and SynbiCITE UK Innovation and Knowledge Centre for Synthetic Biology.

XYLINUM CONES
Lunchroom
What would it mean for our daily lives if we could grow our objects? Xylinum Cones presents an experimental production line that uses bacteria to grow geometric forms. Meet designers Jannis Huelsen and Stefan Schwabe and learn how they are developing a renewable cellulose composite for future industrial uses.

SELFMADE
Poynter Room, Café
This film tells the story of how biologist Christina Agapakis and smell provocateur Sissel Tolaas produce human cheese. Using swabs from hands, feet, noses and armpits as starter cultures, they produce unique smelling fresh cheeses as unusual portraits of our biological lives.

THE OPERA OF PREHISTORIC CREATURES
Raphael Gallery
‘Lucy’, the extinct hominid Autralopithecus Afarensis, performs an opera just for you. Marguerite Humeau recreates her vocal tract and cords to bring you the lost voice of this prehistoric creature.

ELECTRO MAGNETIC SIGNALS FROM BACTERIAL DNA
Cast Courts
Can we imagine what it sounds like inside the molecular structure of a DNA helix? This composition is inspired by theoretical speculation on bacteria’s ability to transmit EMF signals, played amongst the V&A’s cast collection.

SYNTHETIC AESTHETICS ON FILM
The Lydia and Manfred Gorvey Lecture Theatre
DNA replication, Bjork, swallowable perfume… these eight films demonstrate a myriad of cultural crossovers; synthetic biology at its aesthetic finest.
Dunne & Raby – Future Foragers (2009)
Tobias Revell – New Mumbai (2012)
Lucy McRae – Swallowable Parfum (2013)
UCSD – Biopixels (2011)
Zeitguised – Comme des Organismes (2014)
Drew Berry for Bjork – Hollow (2011)
Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg and James King – E. chromi (2009)
Mediated Matter, MIT Media Lab  – Silk Pavilion (2013)

DNA EXTRACTION
Learning Centre: Art Studio
Extract your own DNA in the V&A’s popup Wetlab and chat with synthetic biologists from Imperial College London. Synthetic biology designs life at the scale of DNA, and tonight you can take the raw materials of life home with you. With thanks to Imperial College London’s EPSRC National Centre for Synthetic Biology & Innovation and SynbiCITE UK Innovation and Knowledge Centre for Synthetic Biology.

April 9, 2014 / Events, News
Synthetic Aesthetics at the V&A's Friday Late

April’s Friday Late at London’s Victoria & Albert Museum celebrates the launch of Synthetic Aesthetics as artists, designers and scientists explore our biological future. On April 25th, the V&A will be transformed for an evening into a space of biology and design, with films, talks, workshops and debates and hands-on lab experiments, from 6.30pm-10pm. The Synthetic Aesthetics Late is sponsored by Mastercard with support from the EPSRC, and is programmed by Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg with the V&A. More information will be posted about the evening on the V&A Friday Late webpage.

Read more about the project and the book, or visit the Synthetic Aesthetics project website.

April 1, 2014 / Events, News
Synthetic Aesthetics book is published

I’m thrilled to say that our book, Synthetic Aesthetics: Investigating Synthetic Biology’s Designs on Nature is now available to order in the USA direct from The MIT Press or Amazon, and will be available elsewhere from mid-April. Documenting a research project that first began in 2009 at an EPSRC/NSF funding ‘Sandpit’, this interdisciplinary, internationally collaborative book sees synthetic biologists, artists, designers, and social scientists investigating synthetic biology and design. Read more about the project  and the book, or visit the Synthetic Aesthetics project website.

We’ll be launching it in London at the V&A Museum on April 25, with further talks and events to come.



< NEWER POSTS  OLDER POSTS >

Installation view. Photograph: Sahir Ugur Eren

The V&A Atrium at the Friday Late: Synthetic Aesthetics. Photo: Victoria and Albert Museum.