BioDesign: Nature + Science + Creativity

by William Myers

Synopsis: ​BioDesign: Nature + Science + Creativity is a book published in 2012 by The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York and Thames & Hudson in London. It profiles recent design and art projects that use living materials and span a wide range of applications from architecture to advertising and concrete to clothing. These works introduce visionary strategies for improving the ecological performance of the objects around us, aesthetic possibilities enabled by new biotechnology and provocative experiments that illuminate both opportunities and dangers in manipulating life for human ends.​

BioDesign is the next step beyond biology-inspired approaches to design and fabrication. Unlike biomimicry, Cradle to Cradle or the popular but frustratingly vague “green design,” BioDesign refers specifically to the incorporation of living organisms as essential components in design, enhancing the function of the finished work. BioDesign leaps ahead of imitation and mimicry to integration and use, dissolving boundaries and synthesizing new hybrid living objects. BioDesign also highlights experiments replacing industrial or mechanical systems with a biological process, an approach becoming more important under the pressure of the climate crisis. The final section of the book ventures beyond functional or speculative design into the realm of fine art, presenting a range of works that incorporate living matter and foretell changes in how we might define life or what is natural in the near future.

Published: October, 2012 | ISBN-13: 978-0500516270

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As a lover of design and biology, I was so astounded when I found this book at MOMA this year that I HAD to have it. The beauty of the designs and their innovativeness just made me look up some of the possibilities in there. I keep this beside the bed when I need some inspiration. A must for any student or lover of art, architecture, design or science. @popsciguyoz

The Architect’s Newspaper Book Review
NYTimes Book Review

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