Course Description

In the thousands of years since humans left the stone age, we have developed an astounding collection of skills and technologies for fabrication. Nature, however, has employed billions of years of R&D to develop far more sophisticated means of making things. Biofabrication is the combination of these technologies.

In this course, we will learn about natural growth systems and explore ways of making, not just from, but with nature. Through visiting scientists, visiting artists, readings, and hands-on experimentation, students will gain a scientific understanding of fundamental principles of biological materials. We will combine this knowledge of how living organisms use DNA to code the creation of matter and form with expanding abilities with digital and robotic systems of control and fabrication. These complex technological practices will be driven by artistic sensibilities and put into action through material exploration and studio projects. The goal of this class is to blend scientific research and artistic exploration into a practice that yields results that would not be reached from within the confines of a single discipline.

Topics of Study

Student learn how living systems make things. Concepts from lectures and readings are immediately put into practice in the lab. Students learn basic genetic engineering and modify bacteria to introduce new functions to the cells. A strong focus is also placed on biomaterials. Students work with living organisms to grow their own works of art.