The iGEM 2009 jamboree

March 2, 2014 / Events, News
Art & Design AT iGEM 2014

Christina Agapakis and I met for the first time at the International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) Competition jamboree, back in 2009. iGEM is an undergraduate-focused design competition in synthetic biology, which began at MIT in 2004. I was there as a designer with the 2009 University of Cambridge E. chromi team, carrying a briefcase of coloured poo, the Scatalog. Christina was a biologist at Harvard and a competition judge. Ever since our first conversations that year, when this biological engineering competition unexpectedly saw artists entering for the first time (ArtScienceBangalore), and designers showing work (our E. chromi guerilla intervention), Christina and I have continued to collaborate across science, design and art, from the Synthetic Aesthetics project, to conferences, exhibitions and publications.

Five years later, we are excited to have been invited by iGEM HQ in the spirit of art/design/science collaboration to develop Art & Design at iGEM for the 2014 competition. This year is the tenth anniversary of iGEM, and the annual ‘jamboree’ will be held at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston in November. To celebrate the diversity of teams and disciplines that come together at iGEM, this year's competition will include a range of special tracks and prizes to include as many participants as possible. We are launching a new Art & Design Prize and Art & Design Track. Our motivation is to encourage interdisciplinary collaboration at iGEM and beyond.

There are two ways to get involved:

An Art & Design Track for teams that are primarily undergraduate artists and designers, although it is open to master’s students and non-degree candidates as well. The track is essentially a mini-competition (other iGEM ‘tracks’ cover ‘software’ or 'environment'). There will be a Track Award for the best team within the track.

There is also a new Art & Design Prize, open across the iGEM competition to all teams. We hope this prize will encourage art and design students to collaborate with science and engineering teams in mixed groups (even from different universities). To find a team close to you, check out the list of teams already registered.




The iGEM 2009 jamboree