Chris Woebken held a Bio-Design workshop in class. It was a speculative design exercise aiming to visualize bio futures through tangible media. The idea was to gather simple products or materials from a dollar shop and re-purpose them to create and communicate new meaning and ideas. Everyone brought in at least 10 items each.
Full spread of random dollar store items brought in by the classmates. Chris brought along some vacuum formed package shells and different stickers. There were also some random magazine cut outs of a range of news articles.
We were to imagine a hypothetical topic related to our research paper. My selected topic is Gut-microbiome and its effect on the brain.
So I imagined a future scenario where our world is getting increasingly sterile. We live in air quality controlled clean rooms. So are our offices and cars and movie theaters, everything is perfectly clean. Fruits and vegetables do not grow in soil anymore. Most of our food is grown in labs from cell cultures. There is very little of real, organic matter around. And the lack of helpful bacteria has drained our vitality and spirit.
We survive on constant entertainment and media consumption rather than engaging with the real world and seeking pleasure and fulfillment. Celebrity worship is rampant in a society like this which feeds on entertainment media.
In order to prolong their celebrity stature and physical and mental vitality, only celebrities have access to bio-engineered, probiotics and healthy bacteria. this has given rise to microbial piracy! Microbiome pirates are paparazzi of the future world, who are not only on the lookout for candid photographs of famous celebrities but also their gut bacteria! This celebrity gut bacteria is sold on the underground market like drugs.
This is quick prototype to sketch out this future scenario by imagining a product, in this case, Jenn Aniston’s gut bacteria sold in form of balls and labeled as artisanal mood enhancer! $66
This is the device used to extract the microbiome!