Award-winning British designer
Director, Studio Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg, an experimental design research studio
Lead author, “Synthetic Aesthetics: Investigating Synthetic Biology’s Designs on Nature” (2014)
Daisy Ginsberg is a designer, artist and writer. Designing objects, workshops, writing and curating, Daisy develops experimental approaches and ‘fictions’ in order to help innovators engineer a better future.
Daisy’s current focus is synthetic biology – an emerging discipline that involves designing and creating biological products. She is collaborating with scientists, engineers, artists, designers, policy makers and industry to articulate the possibilities of synthetic biology, and imagine practical applications.
She curated ‘Synthetic Aesthetics’ (Stanford University/University of Edinburgh, 2010–2013), an international research project between synthetic biology, art and design, and is lead author of “Synthetic Aesthetics: Investigating Synthetic Biology’s Designs on Nature” (2014). She led the curatorial team for Grow Your Own… Life After Nature, a flagship Wellcome-funded exhibition about synthetic biology at Science Gallery, Dublin (October 2013–January 2014).
Daisy received the World Technology Award for Design 2011 and the London Design Medal for Emerging Talent 2012. She has twice been nominated for Designs of The Year (2011, 2015) with Designing for the Sixth Extinction. This project was designed to trigger debate about how artificial organisms could be used to solve environmental problems, and was described by critics as “romantic, dangerous… and everything else that inspires us to change and question the world.”
Daisy is currently working on her PhD, ‘The Dream of Better’ at London’s Royal College of Art, uses design to explore our idea of the ‘better’ future.
In this book, synthetic biologists, artists, designers, and social scientists investigate synthetic biology and design. After chapters that introduce the science and set the terms of the discussion, the book follows six boundary-crossing collaborations between artists and designers and synthetic biologists from around the world, helping us understand what it might mean to ‘design nature.’ These collaborations have resulted in biological computers that calculate form; speculative packaging that builds its own contents; algae that feeds on circuit boards; and a sampling of human cheeses. They raise intriguing questions about the scientific process, the delegation of creativity, our relationship to designed matter, and, the importance of critical engagement.
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