Wet Dreams. Living Machines
RMIT Industrial Design Upper Pool Elective, 2008. Designed and taught by Boo Chapple.
Since the earliest civilisations, humans have harnessed biological processes to their needs. In contemporary society, biological processes are and will become even more integrated into systems of industrial and pharmaceutical production, waste management, recycling and construction. The increasing focus on sustainable ways of living and the popular return of ‘DIY’ means that individual consumers are also engaging more home based biological processes in their daily lives from home brewery and kitchen bench herb gardens, to composting toilets and worm farms. In parallel to this, the ability to manipulate life at the molecular scale continues to lead to new and often challenging innovations in the life sciences which, in turn, are increasingly being made available to the consumer.
What does the biotech future hold?
What kind of products may this changing industrial, biological, social landscape inspire?
What new challenges and styles of life may emerge in this imagined future landscape?
What kind of parameters need to be addressed and controlled when working with biological materials and systems?
What are the different temporarities and behaviours that need to be taken into account?
What new aesthetics come into play when integrating biological processes and technologies into design?
What are some examples of practitioners already grappling with these issues?