Yeadon in Synthetic Aesthetics book
A new MIT Press book, Synthetic Aesthetics: Investigating Synthetic Biology’s Designs on Nature, includes the arsenic biosensor project that Peter Yeadon (Professor, Interior Architecture) worked on with his Industrial Design students several years ago. In a chapter titled “Design Evolution,” author Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg provides a brief history of the project and lingers on the challenges that Yeadon and his students faced as they considered how to turn genetically engineered bacteria into a consumer product that could warn of arsenic in drinking water: “Designing packaging for a biological consumer product prompts questions of reliability, safety, storage, incubation, repeat use, and disposal, all of which impact the biological design of the bacteria themselves.”
After surveying similar collaborative and cooperative projects involving synthetic biologists and experts from other fields, Ginsberg says, “The parameters that have emerged can inform our understanding of good biological design. As we open up a space for artists, designers, and synthetic biologists to examine critical ideas, we return to the idea of design as a medium between ideas and things. And as we think through things together, we are more likely to find a common good in biological design.”
Yeadon is still working on bimolecular sensor system, now with Dr. Oliver Medvedik.