Design project & film, 2014
As interactive products are growing closer and closer to the body, and scientists are making advances in the use of biological matter in materials suitable for product design, it feasible that soon biochemical processes will be taking place in and on our technological devices.
Bioplastic Fantastic investigates new types of products and interactions which might emerge from these material innovations in the fields of bio- and nanotechnology. It speculates about the future design and use of domestic products made from enzyme-enhanced bioplastics. The concept is based on a recent scientific breakthrough in the synthesis of functioning “biological” cells made from polymers and enzymes.
Halfway between products and organisms, seven “biological devices” produce all food and energy needed for humans to survive simply by being exposed to light (through artificial photosynthesis). They produce water, vitamins, fibre, sugar, fat, protein and minerals through biological processes, allowing for a more self-sufficient lifestyle.
The devices are designed to be part of a biologically influenced domestic space, and their aesthetics are not machine-like or lab-like, to question the
common aesthetics in bio-art and design and to emphasise the design opportunities that might arise with these new types of materials: to make design more sensual, and less technical, less industrial. The loss of the natural sensuality of traditional food is substituted by a designed, artificial sensuality.
All of the device designs are based on bacteria which have similar functions in nature. They use the functional part of the biological circuit (enzymes), and combine this with non-living matter (bioplastic).
Rather than being a proposal or a solution, the project aims at asking questions and provoking discussions about which kinds of applications of bio- and nanotechnology we would want to be part of our future everyday lives.
Design project, 2016
For 25th Biennial of Design in Ljubljana (BIO 25)
In the permanent collection of MAK Vienna
Photo credits: Delfino Sisto Legnani and Marc Cappelletti
Automation is entering all aspects of services and production, and agriculture, too, is becoming increasingly digitalised and automated. To a certain extent, robots, digital sensing, and algorithmic predictions in agriculture are already commonplace. New technologies and systems such as the blockchain and the Internet of things give machines the capability to operate even more independently, to communicate, and to make transactions by themselves. Autonomous Agriculture investigates how increased automation could lead to new economic and social systems in the countryside, dominated by a symbiosis between nature and digital technology. Once manufactured and placed in the countryside, Internet-connected planting and harvesting robots form part of an autonomous network of agricultural machines, operated by an algorithm. These machines
work as an independent business with no human employees, planting and harvesting what is deemed profitable according to predictive algorithms. The collected food is sold to people online and paid for with digital money. The robots acquire required maintenance via the Internet, also with digital money, and are serviced by humans or other robots. They then continue their work, eventually accumulating enough capital to buy the land they are working on. One solar-powered robot harvests the healthy and drinkable sap of a birch tree, and a group of autonomous robots collects snails in a field to decrease the need for pesticides and to sell them as a delicacy. The project explores the idea of non-anthropocentric agriculture,in which the power structure is changed. People also become a tool for the machine, rather than the machine merely a tool for people.