This past summer, two teams of students from CalArts School of Critical Studies and the Experimental Animation Program in the School of Film/Video, competed in the BioDesign Challenge at the Museum of Modern Art's (MoMA) in New York.
The Challenge offers art and design students the opportunity to envision future applications of biotechnology. More than 400 students in 24 teams from universities around the world participated in the competition, including MICA (Maryland Institute College of Art), the Fashion Institute of Technology, The New School, Pratt, New York University, the Royal College of Art in London, and others. The students worked with art and design professors, scientists and subject-matter experts to develop their projects.
Team CalArts/Critical Studies emerged from a new class in BioMimicry, taught by Douglas Goodwin. Students Cameron Meakin and Hunter Janos developed a piece called Microbial Gardens.
"We designed an environment that makes the microbial world easy to observe, comprehend and finally to embrace the communities of microscopic interactions," said Meakin. "Guests are invited to stroll among living pavilions as they compete with one another for resources. Each host provides sustenance for the others much as grasses provide nourishment to deer. They are in turn consumed upon by predator species exactly as in microbial ecology. Microbial Gardens presents aggregates of microbial interactions at human scale."