2010 - Recipe theorists



*quote from ‘playing god’ by PZ Myers 2007 on www.scienceblogs.com


Inspired by the methods of research into synthetic and systems biology by Professor Christopher Alexander Hunter from The University of Sheffield and his team, the project challenges conventional design processes that tend to be product driven. Scientists appear to use a pre-set list of ‘ingredients’ that are researched and explored often without a definite outcome in mind. Using this as a starting point for a design provocation the ‘recipe theorists’ plan to investigate and visualize the relationship between single cells, networks and the ‘switches’ that cause different behavioral patterns within these.

Starting with six basic bread ingredients, a recipe network diagram and a white model airplane the concept is to provoke the notion that scientists are engineering good, bad and extraordinary outcomes in their research. Bread is the starting point as a ‘bio’ metaphor on two levels: it is firstly a globally recognised basic foodstuff, and secondly you need ingredients and a recipe to make it. What happens when you take a series of recipes with pre-set ingredients and change their value, sequence and order? Using a series of unidentifiable foodstuffs and identifiable objects the ‘recipe theorists want to provoke critical thinking and opinion about the future possibilities of synthetic biology. What are the future implications if scientists can create life from scratch?

This project was a group work with Leander Angerer, Diana Kovacheva, Charlotte Medin and Lesley Robertson. The work was presented in an exhibition at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in November 2010.