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Synopsis: For centuries, designers and artists have looked to nature for inspiration and materials, but only recently have they developed the ability to alter and incorporate living organisms or tissues into their work. This startling development, at the intersection of biology and design has created new aesthetic possibilities and helps address a growing urgency to build and manufacture ecologically. Bio Design surveys recent design and art projects that harness living materials and processes, presenting bio-integrated approaches to achieving sustainability, innovations enabled by biotechnology, and provocative experiments that deliberately illustrate the dangers and opportunities in manipulating life for human ends. As the first publication to focus on this new phenomenon and closely examine how it fits into the history of architecture, art and industrial design, this volume surveys this shift and contextualizes it through comparisons to previous historic transitions in art and design practices, clarifying its implications for the future. A reference for students and teachers of art, architecture, industrial design and engineering, Bio Design will also introduce the subject to a broad audience.

From the Author: Biodesign is the next step beyond biology-inspired approaches to design and fabrication. Unlike biomimicry, Cradle to Cradle or the popular but frustratingly vague "green design," biodesign refers specifically to the incorporation of living organisms as essential components in design, enhancing the function of the finished work. Biodesign leaps ahead of imitation and mimicry to integration and use, dissolving boundaries and synthesizing new hybrid living objects. The book also highlights experiments replacing industrial or mechanical systems with a biological process, an approach becoming more important under the pressure of the climate crisis. The final section of the book ventures beyond functional or speculative design into the realm of fine art, presenting a range of works that incorporate living matter and foretell changes in how we might define life, identity and nature in the near future.

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Myers, William
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