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By Gabrielle Kennedy

This year Design Academy Eindhoven Food Non Food students have been collaborating with BioArt Laboratories and their team of artists and scientists who have been coaching students to become better acquainted with some of the most cutting-edge biotechnical materials.

The goal is to guide students towards a better understanding of how these materials can be adopted in design using new techniques. Some of this work was exhibited during our recent show in Milan “Eat Shit”.

For the Food Non Food department this collaboration is helping to define the way forward into a world where more of our environment is alive and based on biological systems.

“I predict the integration of more biological systems into our immediate environments,” says Jalia Essaidi from BioArt Laboratories, “but at the same time we should be aware of and even bounded by ethical considerations. And it is here where art and design can really help to generate a good discourse on just where these limitations should be.”

In this approach Essaidi sees no need to distinguish between art and design. “Art and design are just two different labels,” she says.  “Artificially forced upon reality to make it all fit. Yes there is a clear difference between the two definitions, but reality isn't black and white, and it is pointless to define a border amid different shades of gray.”

So BioArt Laboatories extends outwards from the field of science and into the speculative, research and experimental world of how science can be used to help society better interact and cope with its own needs.

Much of the discourse surrounding bio design starts with the topic of life and what and when it actually begins. Which of course means that the discourse is rife with disagreement from the outset.

“Science provides us models to understand the nature of reality,” says Essaidi. “Especially in biotechnology, these models are vital to understand the workings of the materials you are handling. Bacteria, cells, DNA they are all invisible to the naked eye.”

Also controversial is how designers and scientists can collaborate – at which point does one discipline dissolve into the other. “On this topic I always love to quote Eric Kandel, “ says Essaidi. “’A brain scan may reveal the neural signs of depression, but a Beethoven symphony reveals what that depression feels like.’ Both perspectives are necessary if we are to fully grasp the nature of the mind, yet they are rarely brought together."

The point is that science only provides us with a part of the puzzle, but also illustrates the importance of understanding all perspectives. “In the end I think if you initiate a collaboration it is your responsibility to speak both languages,” says Essaidi.

http://bioartlab.com

Published: 20-May-2015 12:25
  • Bio-Art & Design

    BioArt Laboratories

  • Bio-Art & Design

    BioArt Laboratories

  • Bio-Art & Design

    BioArt

  • Bio-Art & Design

    Food Non Food students

  • Bio-Art & Design

    Food Non Food students collaborating with BioArt Laboratories

  • Bio-Art & Design

    Food Non Food students