The Nature Lab at RISD is pleased to announce Biodesign: From Inspiration to Integration, an exhibition curated in collaboration with William Myers that marks the culmination of Nature Lab's 80th anniversary celebrations. The exhibition runs from Aug 25—Sept 27 and showcases recent examples of design and art that inform our complex relationship with nature and help us decipher how it may evolve in the future. Major themes of the exhibition will be collaboration and co-creativity, presenting the best practices for working with living materials and with experts across fields. It will aim to inspire, surprise and inform the public, especially in light of the urgent need to make design less destructive to our shared environment. The exhibition of approximately 20 projects will be accompanied by programming including: workshops on building with mushrooms; biotextiles; microscopic silkworm poetry as well as lectures on biodesign, coral reef restoration, the future of food, and more. To launch the exhibition Nature Lab will be hosting a half-day symposium that brings together international artists, designers, scientists and educators for talks, discussions and presentations on topics such as valuing non-human forms of life as collaborators, artistic and scientific modes of inquiry, and ethical considerations in bioart and biodesign practices. The opening of the exhibition also marks the release of the 2018 edition of Biodesign: Nature + Science + Creativity (MoMA). Half-Day Symposium + Opening Reception August 24 Woods-Gerry Gallery Rhode Island School of Design The exhibition features the following works Hy-Fi and Bio-processing Software—David Benjamin / The Living Mycelium architecture, made in collaboration with Ecovative and 3M. Zoa—Natalia Krasnodebska / Modern Meadow Leather grown using yeasts that secrete collagen, and grown completely without animal derivatives. The Built Environment Microbiome, Jessica Green / BioBE Center The BioBE conducts research into the built environment microbiome, mapping the indoor microbiome, with an eye towards pro-biotic architecture. Zea Mays / Cultivar Series—Uli Westphal Newly commissioned corn study, this project highlights maize’s evolution through interaction with humans. Harvest / Interwoven—Diana Scherer Artist coaxes root systems plant root systems into patterns. Fifty Sisters & Morphogenesis—Jon McCormack Artist algorithmically generates images that mimic evolutionary growth, but tweaks them to include aesthetics of the logos of global petroleum producing corporations. Organ on a Chip—Wyss Institute Wyss Institute creates microchips that recapitulate the functions of living human organs, offering a potential alternative to animal testing. AgroDerivatives: Permutations on Generative Citizenship—Mae-Ling Lokko This project proposes labor, production criteria and circulation of capital within agrowaste/bioadhesive upcycling ecosystems. New Experiments in Mycelium—Ecovative Ecovative makes prototypes of mycelium items such as insulation, soundproofing tiles, surfboards, lampshades. Bistro in Vitro—Next Nature Network Performance with speculative future foods samples. The installation will include video screens and a cookbook on a table display. Raw Earth Construction—Miguel Ferreira Mendes This project highlights an ancient technique that uses soil, focusing on how soil is living. Burial Globes: Rat Models—Kathy High This project presents glass globes that hold the ashes of the five HLA-B27 transgenic rats, each one named and remembered: Echo, Flowers, Tara, Matilda, Star. To Flavour Our Tears—Center for Genomic Gastronomy Set up as an experimental restaurant, this project places humans back into the foodchain — investigating the human body as a food source for other species. Blood Related—Basse Stittgen A series of compressed blood objects—inspired by Hemacite objects made from blood/sawdust compressed in a process invented in the late 19th century—highlights bloodwaste in the slaughterhouse industry. Silk Poems—Jen Bervin A poem made from a six-character chain represents the DNA structure of silk, it refers to the silkworm's con-structure of a cocoon, and addresses the ability of silk to be used as a bio sensor, implanted under people's skin. Zoe: A Living Sea Sculpture—Colleen Flanigan Zoe is an underwater structure, part of coral restoration research, that regenerates corals in areas highly impacted by hurricanes, human activity and pollution. Aquatic Life Forms—Mikhail Mansion Computationally animated lifeform works change and evolve based on live data from environments they represent. Algae Powered Digital Clock—Fabienne Felder By turning electrons produced during photosynthesis and bacterial digestion into electricity, algae will be used to power a small digital clock. A Place for Plastics—Megan Valanidas This designer presents a new process of making bioplastics that are bio-based, biodegradable AND compostable Data Veins & Flesh Voxels—Ani Liu This project explores how technology influences our notion of being human from different points of view, with a focus on exploring the relationship between our bodies as matter and as data. Pink Chicken Project—Studio (Non)human (Non)sense/ Leo Fidjeland & Linnea Våglund By changing the color of chickens to pink, this project rejects the current violence inflicted upon the non-human world and poses questions of the impact and power of synthetic biology. Click here to visit RISD Nature Lab. About Rhode Island School of Design Known as the leading college of art and design in the US, Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) is ranked #1 in Business Insider’s survey of The World’s 25 Best Design Schools. Approximately 2,450 students from around the world are enrolled in full-time bachelor’s or master’s degree programs in a choice of 19 majors. Students value RISD’s accomplished faculty of artists and designers, the breadth of its specialized facilities and its hands-on approach to studio-based learning. Required courses in the liberal arts enrich the studio experience, equipping graduates to make meaningful contributions to their communities. Through their creative thinking and problem solving in a broad range of fields, RISD’s 26,000 alumni exemplify the vital role artists and designers play in fueling global innovation. Founded in 1877, RISD (pronounced “RIZ-dee”) and the RISD Museum help make Providence, RI among the most culturally active and creative cities in the region. For more information, visit risd.edu and our.risd.
About Nature Lab
Founded in 1937 by RISD graduate and long-time faculty member Edna Lawrence, the Nature Labprovides students and faculty with an engaging space for exploring the forms, patterns and processes in nature as well as an understanding of our place within the living world. The Lab is a forum, sustained by resources and expertise that inspires countless art and design projects throughout RISD. With more than 80,000 preserved natural science specimens, microscopy and micro-imaging systems unparalleled in an art and design school, as well as aquatic systems and lab equipment for maintaining and studying a variety of living and non-living specimens, the Nature Lab is a unique environment for investigating the myriad connections between art, design and science.
Posts tagged with "bio-design":
A new pavilion created by the Mediated Matter research group at MIT’s Media Lab explores the intersection between material technology, computation, and biological and digital fabrication on an architectural scale. Inspired by the silkworm’s ability to create a 3D cocoon out of a single, 1 km thread, a team of researchers led by architect Neri Oxman created a fibrous, CNC-fabricated scaffold made from 26 polygonal panels and laid out in silk thread. They then let loose 6,500 silkworms onto the frame to fill in the gaps and reinforce the structure. The structure’s silk armature was created by an algorithm, based on site-specific solar trajectories and research on the worms’ behavior, which was then built upon by the worms’ on-site reaction to the structure’s geometries and environmental factors, including heat, light, and density. The worms were attracted to darker and denser areas, leaving a large aperture in the pavilion’s southeast side and producing some areas thicker than others. Mediated Matter’s research with the Silk Pavilion opens up new possibilities for the creation of functionally graded material objects (think the varied, porous interior of bone as opposed to the homogeneity of concrete), fibrous systems for the construction of habitable space, and bio-synthetic structures that are capable of interacting with heir environments. Like their (ideal) mechanical counterparts, these small, squishy 3D-printers can self-replicate. While the silkworms were removed from the pavilion before they could transform into moths, once they metamorphose, those 6,500 grubs could produce 1.5 million more, which in turn could construct 250 additional pavilions.
On Saturday I moderated one of two AIA/LA-sponsored panels about bio-inspired design at the Los Angeles County Natural History Museum. The first panel looked at the general influence of nature on design, from the Mars Rover to the San Diego Zoo, and ours zeroed in on architecture's envelopes and skins, with insights about breaking away from the static, heavy, and largely-unresponsive architecture of today by architect Tom Wiscombe, Arup engineer Russell Fortmeyer, and evolutionary biologist Shauna Price. Speaking of bio-inspired design, before the panel I got an early look at the new gardens at the Natural History Museum, designed by Mia Lehrer + Associates. The gardens, which are scheduled to open in time for the museum's centennial this June, are designed to finally bring the institution's exhibits outside of their built home, with diverse elements that are laid out as a microcosm of LA's ecosystems. That includes plant species that draw all types of animals and insects, jagged rock formations, and even a recreation of the local water system, with a pond that flows into a stream, and eventually becomes an arroyo. The design creatively mixes natural and urban materials like a chain link vine arbor and rebar rose supports. There's even an on-site natural laboratory, so scientists can work in open daylight instead of in a sequestered chamber.We'll be looking at the gardens more closely in the coming weeks when they officially open, along with the glassy new entry to the museum by CO Architects, which is coming this summer.