About

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BIO-DESIGN for the REAL WORLD explores how biology and biotechnology can be designed within social contexts.

As a powerful technological medium after industrial and digital revolutions, implementation and design solutions for biology and biotechnology must reflect a diversity of voices to be meaningful in society, not only to be guided by concerns of a few.


Real world problems

BIO-DESIGN for the REAL WORLD is a transdisciplinary and collaborative research project. We ask what is good design in biology and biotechnology by going through design cycles to define, build, and field-test prototypes that require the integration of wetware, hardware, and software to visualise and address real world water problems.

Our current projects derived from our common and local focus on water.

Horizontal exchange

The project is a partnership between (Art)ScienceBLR with design students from the Srishti School of Art, Design & Technology, (Bangalore, India) the Lifepatch citizen initiative in art, science and technology (Yogyakarta, Indonesia), and students at the School of Life Sciences at EPFL (Lausanne, Switzerland where we are housed in Hackuarium). We collaborate closely with National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS, Bangalore India), and Microbiology Laboratory of Agriculture Faculty of Universitas Gadjah Mada (Yogyakarta, Indonesia).

Open approach

We follow the open process – CC BY-SA 3.0 and a do-it-yourself (DIY) and do-it-with-others DIWO) approach.
We actively share and test our work through workshops.
Our documentation can be found here on the project wiki and we share our code and designs on github and our research and process through videos and links.

Our history

BIO-DESIGN for the REAL WORLD started as an idea in the hackterialab 2011 in Romainmôtier in Switzerland. We are part of the hackteria network. Check out Hackteria’s wiki pages for other open source bio art | DIY biology | generic lab equipment projects and designs.

The project name BIO- “Design for the Real World” was inspired by Victor Papanek’s book “Design for the Real World”. Our design approach and principles of socially and environmentally responsible design was articulated well-before this project was conceived.

The project was launched with support by the CoDEV SEED grant from EPFL (2.2013-12.2014).