Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg is a designer, artist and writer. She uses design to explore the social, ethical and cultural implications of emerging and unfamiliar technologies, science and services.
With a degree in Architecture from Cambridge University and a Herchel Smith scholarship to Harvard University, in 2009 she received her MA in Design Interactions from the Royal College of Art, London.
Ginsberg spent her time at the RCA exploring what design - integral to the developments of the Industrial and Information Revolutions - has to ‘offer’ to a Biotech Revolution. Through in-depth research into synthetic biology, she continues to build on her MA dissertation, proposing that this role includes imagining and designing compelling narratives that enable us to
question our unprecedented future.
“What does design have to offer to a biotech revolution?"
I use design to explore the implications of emerging and unfamiliar technologies, science and services. This includes creating compelling narratives that allow us to question our unprecedented future, using design to open up new thought areas and unravel the complexity of invisible science. I have been exploring how the two very disparate scales of molecular science and human design interact. At the Royal College of Art, I began researching synthetic biology, the application of engineering principles to biology, the abstraction of the chaos of life into standardised components and systems. After 18 months making projects about the science, I am now moving into the lab, designing a Synthetic Biology Protocol for SymbioticA.
What sort of skills do I need as I move from abstract knowledge to pouring agar and plating cultures, designing biological systems and computer modeling? What knowledge and expertise will I need to personally acquire or access through experts? Can I learn enough in a supervised lab setting to work on my own scientific research? If so, how much? Could it ever be useful science? Will undertaking my own experimental research – instead of reading papers and talking to scientists – provide fresh insight into the synbio debate, from questions of amateur biohackers to the abstraction of living systems? I am exploring these questions through developing a protocol for non-scientists to engage in synbio in the controlled environment of the wet lab.”
Period of Research: September - December 2009