Big Data: Designing with the Materials of Life

Amy Congdon, Data-Hungry-Skin 3

23 Jan - 13 Feb 2014

Exhibition and Live Project:
23 January - 13 February 2014
Tuesdays to Fridays, 12–5pm
Work In Progress Presentation: Wednesday 5 February 2014, 2-5pm
Final Design Presentation: Wednesday 12 February 2014, 2-5pm
How can biology help solve critical issues connected to the explosion of data?
If a living material can store data, how do we design with it? 
This real time exhibition investigates how leading research in biology could inform the design of future sustainable materials, products, services and architecture. For the first time at Central Saint Martins, the Lethaby Gallery presents a live project involving MA Textile Futures designers and the Interactive Architecture Lab (GAD RC3) from the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL in which the public is invited to witness the secrets of design thinking and making informed by biological sciences. 
The exhibition is curated in two parallel formats:
  • A static design exhibition which will present biologically-driven design narratives, including work from Ann Kristin Abel, William Bondin, Natsai Chieza, Rob Kesseler, Amy Congdon, Ruairi Glynn and Ollie Palmer
  • A live design-science project in collaboration with the Medical Research Council as part of the ‘Fabrics of Life’ series. For three weeks, the Lethaby gallery becomes an incubator studio where emerging designers and architects will create new design proposals in response to the research of leading biological science labs.
For the past six years the Medical Research Council, Clinical Sciences Centre has worked with MA Textile Futures to devise a series of ‘Fabrics of Life ‘ projects that bridge the worlds of biology and design. In each of these projects, designers have developed an emergent practice where they learn to transform principles of biology into blueprints for design futures. 
Find out more:
The science labs contributing to this project are:
  • Jason Chin, Evolution and synthesis of new function, MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge
  • Anne Ferguson-Smith, Department of Physiology Development and Neuroscience, University of Cambridge
  • Ueli Grossniklaus, Plant Developmental Genetics, Institute of Plant Biology, University of Zurich, Switzerland
  • Jonathan Chubb, MRC Laboratory for Molecular Cell Biology, University College London
  • Irene Miguel-Aliaga, Gut Signalling and Metabolism, MRC Clinical Sciences Centre, Imperial College London
  • Aldo Faisal, Brain & Behaviour Lab, Department of Bioengineering, Imperial College London
  • Antonio de Marvao, Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Genetics, MRC Clinical Sciences Centre, Imperial College London
With thanks to:
The Medical Research Council CSC, The Lethaby Gallery team at CSM,  The MA Textile Futures Team, The Interactive Architecture Lab RC3, The Bartlett School of Architecture UCL, CELTAD, TFRC, and the contributing scientists named above.

Image: Data-Hungry-Skin © Amy Congdon