Tag: Guided Growth

Biomimicmarketing

How to Grow a Beer Bottle

Over the years we have seen quite a few growing bottles, ranging from the classic Orangina bottle, to a bottle you can peel like a piece of fruit, to growing Heinz ketchup bottles. Yet, arguably, this growing beer bottle is the weirdest we have seen so far.

Apparently the biomimic-marketeers wanted to promote an all natural beer, so they envisioned a futuristic scenario in which beer bottles grow straight from the hop plants. Although any sufficiently technology will be indistinguishable from nature, we doubt that we will still drink beer from bottles by the time we are capable of such advanced guided growth. It is interesting, still, that a so-called natural beer is now marketed by portraying an utterly technological process.

Thanks to Alice for the heads-up.

Leeches are the new beauty
Guided Growth

Engineering Beneficial Parasites

Toxoplasma gondii is a parasite that causes rats to become less afraid of cats. It also might change the behavior of humans, making women more outgoing and warmhearted, while men get jealous and suspicious. Toxoplasma gondii is shed in cat feces, which get eaten by rats. Infected rats become fearless to cats and then get caught easily, thus completing the parasite’s cycle through its different hosts. If a parasite can make you feel friendly, what other unusual benefits might they have?

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tofu_talarico
Design-for-debate

Sitting on Tofu

Tofu is a soy-based food typical of Asian cuisine, rich in protein, known and appreciated especially by vegetarians and vegans. We already know this. What we didn’t know is that, if dehydrated, tofu also becomes a good material to build furniture. 

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Burned Microchip
Designed-by-Evolution

Microchips Learn to Repair Themselves

Right now, one of the reasons that robots and other artificially intelligent devices cannot qualify as living beings is their inability to self-repair. However, a recent breakthrough from the Caltech High-Speed Integrated Circuits laboratory have brought us one step closer to the reality of machines that can cure themselves after being damaged.

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Micro'be dress
Biocustomization

Grow Your Clothing with Microorganisms

Clothing can be made out of more than just woven fabrics or synthetic fibers. Lady Gaga proved this with her infamous raw beef dress. But the meat dress is not the only piece of organic garment out there.

Artist Donna Franklin and scientist Gary Cass have designed Micro’be, a fashion line consisting of clothing made from microorganisms. Where conventional clothing is woven in parts and stitched together, Micro’be consists of one seamless piece. The clothes are made from wine, and with the addition of the bacteria Acetobacter, the wine is fermented into vinegar. The by-product of this fermentation is cellulose, which is in turn used to grow the garment. The color of the fabric is determined by which wine is used. Red wine gives a red fabric, while white wine (and even beer) gives a translucent material.

De_Ceulaar
Biomimicmarketing

Mutation Furniture: Your Living Room Comes Alive

Beautiful Mutation series from Belgian designer Maarten De Ceulaer show how herpes would dramatically enhance the look of your Yves Klein blue sofa. Indeed the velvety series looks more comfortable than Tokujin Yoshioka’s growing crystal chair– although it’s only a biomimicmarketing simulation rather than a truly biological or chemical process.

De Ceulaar explains,” The pieces in this series look like they weren’t made by hands, but have grown to their present form organically. They might be the result of a mutation in cells, or the result of a chemical or nuclear reaction. Perhaps it’s a virus or bacteria that has grown dramatically out of scale. The Mutation pieces make you look at furniture in a different way. Maybe one day we would be able to grow a piece of furniture like we breed or clone an animal, and manipulate its shape like a bonsai tree.”

While society is still discussing futuristic in-vitro meat scenarios, designers are already watching TV on their very own in-vitro furniture.

Story via Feeldesain. Image via De Ceulaer’s website

bright lighting at night
Anthropocene

Bright Streetlights Make Us No Safer, and Why That’s Good News

One of the many arguments for high-wattage storefronts, streets and parking lots is that bright lights deter crime. Since neighborhood thugs lurk in the shadows, the reasoning goes, it’s best to make sure there are no shadows at all. This commonsense conclusion has been called into doubt by findings that show no correlation between crime levels and lighting.

So why is this finding great news? It gives us all an excuse to turn off the lights. Artificial lighting at night wreaks havoc on our circadian rhythms, leaving us at risk for obesity, depression, even cancer. It’s also bad for wildlife, from birds to turtles and flying insects. Light pollution is even unhealthy for our sense of awe: Eight in ten kids born in the United States today will never see the Milky Way outside of a planetarium.

The end of bright, pushy electric lights might also make way for more humane nighttime lighting. Imagine navigating canals by bioluminescent bacteria, or walking down side streets illuminated with gentle bacterial glow. Or, just plant the whole city with rows of bioluminescent trees.

Story via Mother Jones. Image via Flickr user Kevin Dooley.

algae opera feeds algae with the breath of a singer
Augmented-Bodies

“Algae Opera” Nourishes Algae with a Singer’s Breath

Are you blessed with a Maria Callas kind of voice? If, like us, you don’t go beyond croaking the occasional ” I want to break free” in the shower, watch out. If the artists of Algae Opera have their way, your morning algae might not taste so sweet.

Algae Opera debuted at the London 2012 Design Festival as part of Isoculture, a project that redesigns the city as a self-sustaining system. The structure, created by After Agri, channels the flow of CO2 produced by the powerful lungs of an opera singer’s breath into plastic tubes that feed what may soon become a fundamental source of nutrition: algae. But that’s not all there is to this synesthetic experience. The song and modulation of the singer’s voice, in connection with new techniques of sonic enhancement, influence the perception of the eating experience, shifting the taste of algae to either bitter or sweet.

Algae opera is a project that reframes art as a functional actor in future society, recontextualizing opera from a pleasing aesthetic experience to a functional tool to grow food. The project shows how society’s sensibilities can be reframed through technology and creativity, in order to deal with the challenges we’ll face as inhabitants of an overpopulated planet. So lie back and relax: dinner will be ready around the third act.

Story via Wired. Image via Laughing Squid.