Abstract # 18
Biodesign India 1.0 07-09 Oct 2010
Speaker: Yashas Shetty
Title: “Jugaad Biotechnology”:Synthetic Biology as artistic and design practice
Synthetic Biology is being increasingly appropriated by non-scientists. Social scientists on one hand are concerned with the economic and social implications of synthetic biology while philosophers are concerned with its ethical and philosophical implications. Artists and Designers, on the other hand, have ‘dirtied’ their hands with synthetic biology and are increasingly making their way into science labs. By incorporating synthetic biology into their
own artistic and design practice, they are investigating not just the aesthetic aspects of their
creations but also its technical, social and its philosophical implications. India has been at the
forefront of this new trans-disciplinary discourse in synthetic biology. A team of art and design students from India became the first team of non-scientists in the world to compete at the International Genetically Engineered Machines competition at MIT. The talk/paper will look at some of these new developments in art, design and synthetic biology and also speculate on the implications of this new kind of “jugaad biotechnology”.