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The laboratory life of a designer at the intersection with algal biotechnology

  • Marin Sawa (a1)


Scientific laboratories are increasingly becoming a collaborative place to design in an emergent biodesign practice, yet there is very little literature on the actual place and practice. This paper describes an empirical account of a laboratory-based, interdisciplinary design research practice, exploring the intersection with algal biotechnology. Aimed at generating multiple applications of microalgae, the author spent 3 years (2012-2015) working in close collaboration with algal scientists in their research laboratories at Imperial College London. It expounds on the laboratory space and facilities and discusses collaborative experimentation with the intersectional outcome: Algae Printing. It reports that the sum of resultant biotechnological artefacts are scientific, aesthetic, and ecosophical with potential for the domestication of algal biotechnology. It reflects on the interdisciplinary collaborative practice with literature reviews and addresses suggestions for future practices. The main finding is that the integration of a designer into the laboratory life can lead to co-invention and that a role of designer in early stages of scientific research can be demonstrated.


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arq: Architectural Research Quarterly
  • ISSN: 1359-1355
  • EISSN: 1474-0516
  • URL: /core/journals/arq-architectural-research-quarterly
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