Interweaving Algal Biotechnology with the Urban Environment
Title (temporary): Interweaving Algal Biotechnology With the Urban EnvironmentResearch question: How can an intersection of design with algal biotechnology generate new applications in the urban indoor environment?
My thesis describes the findings of practice as research, exploring an intersection of design with algal biotechnology in the context of the urban indoor environment. As we, modern inhabitants, spend most of our time indoors, our contained environment serves as the generic site to which research findings are applied. This paper traces and analyses history of microalgae in relation to design applications through empirical studies and literature reviews. Microalgae are cousins of plant form, each cell alive with photosynthetic pigments. The thesis reflects on the invention of Algae Printing, an outcome from my creative research, and its new ontology in the urban environment. Concepts of ecology are developed with suggested applications of Algae Printing, connecting the microscopic to the macroscopic within the fabric of the urban environment. The inquiry was led by collaborative processes between myself as a designer/ Artist in Residence and algal bioscientists in biochemistry and chemical engineering laboratories at Imperial College London. Scientific research using the invention Algae Printing produced new perceptions of the life of microalgae through ‘cellular’ applications for the production of food, energy and filters. Rabinow, Latour, Carter and DeLanda inspire reflection on the scientific collaborative processes. This paper presents collaborative interdisciplinarity of emerging design practice for biotechnological invention and suggests how it can contribute to the amelioration of the urban environment through ‘creative’ empiricism with biochemistry.>>> Please visit my research webpage at CSM, UAL
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