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Mr. Bacteria SynBio Kit project January 2013


INDEX


CHAPTER 1 Abstract Introduction

5 6

CHAPTER 2 Research & exploration Synthetic biology Design iteration one Redefining project Midterm concept

8 10 14 16 20

CHAPTER 3 Concept development Revised focus Design iteration two User involvement

24 27 28 32

CHAPTER 4 Final product Evaluation User involvement Business approach Reflections Literature

37 48 50 51 52 54


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SYNBIO KIT PROJECT

CHAPTER 1


The aim of this project is to increase awareness for synthetic biology (SB) and its potential by making synthetic biology more visual and thereby better understandable for society. The project is in collaboration with Biotecture, a company concerning public awareness for life sciences. This document reports the process of a first year master design project aimed on creating this awareness of synthetic biology, through designing a kit for the public. The outcome is an educational toy about synthetic biology for children around the age of 6 years old. Getting the children acquaint with new technologies through story telling with the toy, so they get familiar with the technology which should stimulate social understanding and acceptance in the future. Enjoy reading,

Mitchell Jacobs

Mitchell Jacobs M1.1 student Industrial Design TU/e m.x.j.jacobs@student.tue.nl

Mike Thompson Project coach m.j.thompson@tue.nl

Biotecture Client info@biotecture.nl


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INTRODUCTION SynBio kit The challenge in this project is to design and build an educational kit that provides users with a good understanding of synthetic biology, making them aware of the possible applications and impact it can have on their every day lives. Therefore the kit should contain hands-on biology with a clear visual attractive and applicable output. In addition the kit might play a role in filling the knowledge gap of synthetic biology in society. Synthetic biology is a new area of biological research that can be seen as the design and construction of new biological systems (living cells or organisms) not found in nature. The designing of biological systems happens on the level of DNA. (Re) programming on the level of DNA can be compared with programming computers on the level of zero’s and ones. One big issue is that for the general public engineering biology at the molecular level is rather abstract and therefore hard to grasp. To stimulate public engagement, educational programs for schools, universities and wider public are necessary to introduce the science of synthetic biology; introducing its potential applications and future prospects.


Motivation

Biotecture

What used to be nature is becoming culture and what we have created is becoming our second nature. We are getting so used to having technology and our own creations around, we’re almost not able to live without them anymore. Next Nature explores this fenomenon and how to deal with it in the future, through conceptual design.

Biotecture was founded by Nadine Bongaerts and Eva Brinkman. In 2010, the two met during the international scientific competition iGEM (International Genetically Engineered Machine). With seven students from TU Delft they formed a team and worked on developing bacteria with oil digesting properties. With this project, the team belonged to the worlds best 6 of the 124 international teams and they won several international and national awards.

I decided to do this project because I am interested in the unknown and finding a way to communicate this unknown to a bigger audience. I believe that by making futuristic innovations tangible in today’s society, instead of focussing on making a conceptual design for the future, can create a better understanding of new these emerging technologies. This way making society more likely to understand and accept these technologies and help scientists develop these technologies towards society. This challenge and the fact of working with an actual client, Biotecture, motivated me to go for it the full 100%.

During their participation in iGEM, they noticed that only few people are aware of the rapid developments taking place in the life sciences. Therefore they developed educational workshops, presentations and videos that explained synthetic biology to laymen in cooperation with Science Museums, the Rathenau Instituut and Nanopodium. Efforts were successfully received and the activities were expanded under a new name: ‘Biotecture’. With Biotecture, they now support leading organizations to decrease the gap of knowledge between science and public.


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RESEARCH & EXPLORATION

CHAPTER 2


Presentation of “manipulated” cucumber

Pressure cooker To get a first impression of what I’m dealing with I decided to do a pressure cooker with Enitia Karijodinomo. In this pressure cooker we set out to see what the public’s level of awareness is on the manipulation of nature. We went out onto the streets with two different experiments. During the first experiment we asked the consumer which of three eggplants they found most appealing and why. The eggplants differed in size and color. The right one is a dutch supermarket version, always similar in size. The middle one is a biological eggplant and the left one is from the turkish market. During the second experiment we convinced the consumer we took genetically manipulated (lab) cucumber which had added vitamins, but through adding these vitamins it changed form. Would they eat it? The cucumber is also from the turkish market and has a natural curl. The results of the cucumber experiment were highly interesting. The willingness of people to eat something manipulated, with a curled cucumber as result, was unexpected. It gave me the idea to work from a public perspective, because they have totally no idea what the consequences are for themselves, nature and not even for genetic manipulation.

Video www.vimeo.com/mxjjacobs/modification Disclamer The eggplants and cucumbers were not manipulated by us, but just (biological) vegetables.


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SYNTHETIC BIOLOGY

Before designing it was necessary to get insights into synthetic biology. Several papers and documentaries were analyzed. Here a summary is given of the most important aspects of the research on the development of the project. Synthetic biology is bringing engineers, biologists and designers together to design and build biomolecular components, reprogramming and redesigning organisms. Instead of programming machines with zeros and ones, SB goes towards programming life with A’s, T’s, C’s and G’s, the DNA building blocks. [1] These organisms have the ability to change our lives in an entire new dimension. Developments within SB are now on bacteria level. In 2010 NASA successfully replaced the DNA of a bacteria by a synthetically generated DNA [2]. The prospects are to modify the genome of complex organisms, including humans. Another use of synthetic biology converging with other new disciplines is the combined use of synthetic biology and nanotechnology to produce genetically engineered high-power lithium ion batteries using multiple virus genes [3].


SB allows the production of bio-products which may have a direct use in a variety of sectors such as bio-remedies, biofuels, raw-materials or biomedical tools vaccines or new bio-defense agents. But ethics principles have to be taken into account include, the principle of safety, the principle of sustainability, the principle of justice, the principle of precaution, the principle of freedom of research as well as by the principle of proportionality. These undefined elements determine which path SB will take. But my question is, which direction is the “right” one? A question that will become the thread throughout my process.

Besides scientific papers, documentaries like “Playing God” [4], designs like “E-cromi” from Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg [5] and communities like “Bio DIY” [6] show the technology from different perspectives. This means there is a lot going on in the development of synthetic biology, but is still focused in field of SB and not on a higher public level.


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SYNTHETIC BIOLOGY Social and ethical impact The paper, “Synthetic Biology, Social and ethical impact” [7], is a review about the development in the field of synthetic biology connected to the social impact of it, risk assessment and recommendations. Connected to my finding in the pressure cooker experiment two parts caught my attention, quoted below.

“A CODE OF ETHICS AND STANDARDS SHOULD EMERGE FOR BIOLOGICAL ENGINEERING AS IT HAS DONE FOR OTHER ENGINEERING DISCIPLINES.” “HOW CAN CONSTRUCTIVE PUBLIC DEBATE ON THE CULTURAL AND PHILOSOPHICAL IMPLICATIONS OF ADVANCES IN SYNTHETIC BIOLOGY BE FOSTERED?” Although this paper states and questions these two points, they don’t present answers. Which means there is still the gap between the scientists and the public concerning SB. From this point on I decided to continue working from this perspective, because here are the interesting opportunities for me as a designer. Narrowing the gap between science and the public, to make their opinion matter for defining ethical rules regarding SB. To get more depth in the level of understanding concerning ethics and SB several more papers are read. [8] [9] [10]


Synthetic immune system by Tuur van Balen


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DESIGN ITERATION ONE

Parallel to my research I started my first design iteration, having the urge to put theory into practice. This made me able to digest all the information and see the practical use of it. I started with looking for opportunities within Biotecture’s range of workshops and presentations. Their focus is on high school children, using their iGEM project [11] as a guideline to teach these children about synthetic biology. In this project they use the classical way of explaining. Presenting with powerpoint, the children listen and get an assignment in which they write down which synthetic component they need to manipulate a bacteria to make it dissolve oil. The opportunity I saw was to make this a physical and playful experience through which children actually have to add different components together to make it solve oil. The picture shows the prototype connected to this first idea. It consist out of a pentagon with oil in the middle and several tubes. The tubes posses the different components they can choose from to make the oil solving bacteria. When they plug the three correct tubes tin the pentagon the oil dissolves, meaning they chose the right components. (simulated in this prototype) Through this interaction I created a handson experience to stimulate more empathy for the case. Using an action reaction principle they receive immediate and visual feedback on their actions, making the impact of the result tangible.


Idea sketch and prototype


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REDEFINING PROJECT

These iterations created a base to define my design direction.

“CREATING BIO-ETHICS, THROUGH PUBLIC AWARENESS, FOR SYNTHETIC BIOLOGY � Besides sticking to SB research I searched for inspiration connected to public awareness and ethics, which got me to the following two parts. iGEM Eindhoven During the Discovery festival Eindhoven I met with Jody Luggers, Chemical engineering Master graduate and part of the iGEM 2012 Eindhoven team. He introduced me in the team, so I could get direct insights into developments regarding SB. This provided me with direct answers to my SB questions from extra experts, next to the people at Biotecture. During their symposium several iGEM teams and SB experts presented their work. The complexity of their work was immense and showed me the bubble they are working in. But the accessibility of their concepts made it understandable on a public level, a balance my project should contain as well.


Project X Haren

Project X Project X is a perfect example of the creation of ethics around a new innovation, social media. Because there was no code of use, yet, for social media, project x was able to happen. Boundaries weren’t defined yet and had to be found. This shows the impact of what no rules and ethics can create. For social media it was an event which can be restored afterwards, but with synthetic biology it is more complicated. If someone with the wrong intentions releases a synthetically adapted creature, bioterrorism [1, ethics of synthetic biology] Ethical issues arise particularly from dangers of using synthetic lethal and virulent pathogens for terrorist attacks, into our ecosystem it is hard to be reversed or restored. Which means something drastic like Project X cannot happen to define ethics for SB, because it might have everlasting effects on our ecosystem. Therefor it is even more necessary this code of ethics will be defined before the technology is fully developed itself.


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REDEFINING PROJECT Symbolism & community My conclusion with Project X in mind brought me back to a second focus point, public awareness. How can I connect people with different interests around a, for them, unknown subject? With this question I came to symbolism in products. For example the livestrong bracelet from Lance Armstrong. Unfortunately it lost its strength by the present developments around Lance Armstrong himself. However their goal is to find new ways to raise awareness, increase outreach and facilitate collaboration in an effort to improve the cancer awareness. This bracelet connected people from all ages, cultures and social environments while wearing it. Looking at how to create this community I realized the importance of the connection amongst people themselves. Using community as a process, this refers to the interaction and socialization among people in a community – their interests, common objectives and needs. This element implies a “spirit of community” a sense of attachment with each other which forms the basis for their interaction in a variety of social groupings. If they feel connected through a product or technology themselves they can react to it on an empathic level [12].


Concept approach

Co-reflection session To get fresh insights in all information I organized a co-reflection session [13] with three other master students. It felt necessary, because of complexity in connecting all research pieces together. The session consisted out of three elements, the exploration, ideation and confrontation phase. The first was getting them acquaint with SB by making a mind-map of their first thoughts hearing SB. Afterwards I showed them a small documentary to explain SB, mind-map afterwards again and get first ideas on paper.

The second part was about generating ideas regarding connecting people, disconnected from SB. I provided three key words, social, community and recognizable. These words are abstracted from public awareness. The outcomes of the first two sessions finally were combined in ideas making a link between SB and public awareness. These ideas where fresh and straightforward, which I needed to digest and translate. Conclusion The ideas generated during the session were not the most important outcome, but the approach on which the ideas are based on were. Most ideas stimulate interaction between user and SB, with an action reaction approach. The user influences the outcome, so they actively interact and get results from their own actions. Exactly like SB is itself when applying in a life-form.


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MIDTERM CONCEPT

The research plus inspiration naturally lead me to my midterm concept, which I presented at the Next Nature Themeday. The approach is to make an action reaction learning tool about synthetic biology in a playful way. It is an interactive gadget which contains its own unique synthetic DNA code. By sharing your DNA with friends with the same gadgets, your able to collect enough DNA for you own synthetic life form. By connecting the gadget to the internet, you can see what life form you created and share it with your friends. The upcoming scenario shows the steps of how to work with the gadgets. After the midterms I evaluated with the client to see how this fits their expectations and fine-tune it towards a developed concept. They appreciated the approach, but might be too speculative. The developments in SB are still on bacteria level and creating life forms from scratch might be possible over 50 years from now. I decided to change the concept and stay closer to reality, to increase the credibility. Else there is the chance people assume it is made up instead of a real developing technology.


Midterm concept scenario


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Midterm concept scenario


24

CONCEPT DEVELOPMENT

CHAPTER 3


Abstracted visualisation of the framing

Framing During BikkelWeek* I took the time to analyze my project from a third person perspective, to be able to see the gaps in my project. Difficulties occurred while finding a balance between realistic futuristic and playful - educational. I framed all content I generated since September and realized I took Biotecture’s user group without putting thoughts in why this would be the best group to focus on. The question “Which direction, for SB, is the “right” one?” occurred again. Trying to give an answer, made me realize I am not the one to define an answer, but my product should provoke people to define their own answer.

* Bikkelweek is an initiative from Eddy Hellman, to join strengths of students and coaches in one week of hard work. The week is filled with workshops from coaches, brainstorms about each others projects, feedback moments, joined meals and motivating each other. With ten B3.2 and Master students we grouped together and worked from nine in the morning till late at night on our projects.


26

While define the new user group, I encountered Jean Piaget and his theory of cognitive development [14]. During the intuitive substage (4 to 7 years) children tend to become very curious and ask many questions, begin the use of primitive reasoning. There is an emergence in the interest of reasoning and wanting to know why things are the way they are. Accommodation - fit theory into practice Assimilation - fit practice into theory Assimilation, one of two processes coined by Jean Piaget, describes how humans perceive and adapt to new information. It is the process of taking one’s environment and new information, fitting it into preexisting cognitive schemas. Assimilation occurs when humans are faced with new or unfamiliar information and refer to previously learned information in order to make sense of it. Complex but familiar objects are simplified to fit pre-existent categories in ones head. There is no problem in assimilating new information and ideas which fit with this world-view, but people find it increasingly difficult to accommodate to new stuff. Connecting the assimilation to the emerging interest of reasoning of the 4 to 7 year olds, defined my new user group. I want to prepare people for a futuristic technology and the new generation children are the future.


REVISED FOCUS

“Creating Bio-ethics, through public awareness, for synthetic biology” still fits the project, but by focussing on primary school children the impact changed. Translating it into a design direction:

DESIGNING AN EDUCATIONAL TOY ABOUT SYNTHETIC BIOLOGY FOR CHILDREN AROUND THE AGE OF 6 YEARS OLD.  GETTING THE CHILDREN ACQUAINT WITH NEW TECHNOLOGIES THROUGH STORY TELLING WITH THE TOY, SO THEY GET FAMILIAR WITH THE TECHNOLOGY WHICH SHOULD STIMULATES SOCIAL UNDERSTANDING AND ACCEPTANCE IT IN THE FUTURE.


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DESIGN ITERATION TWO

From this point on I started sketching and designing again. Through sketching I quickly defined the final concept, the synthetic DNA printer to adapt organisms DNA with. I chose, for this first iteration, an apple to adapt with the DNA printer to be able to do a user test as soon as possible. An apple is something children can relate to, an object of everyday use. If they made a good DNA strand, and apply it, the apple will start to glow. To get qualitative insights in how to develop the concept from the user group, a user test was organized at a school care. Simultaneously to building a first model for the user test, I discussed with Biotecture how to refine the concept using their knowledge, so after testing I could use the information from the client and the children to implement at the same time.

We gaan een DNA streng bouwen, Boven op liggen de twee strengen Die geven in kleur aan welke DNA bouwstukken je nodig hebt. De DNA bouwstukken krijg je uit de DNA printer, door op de knoppen te drukken Ons nieuwe DNA plaatsen we in een appel Nu kan de appel licht geven in het donker


Concept scenario with explaining text (Dutch)


30


First prototype


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USER INVOLVEMENT

To test if the children get the message I want to transfer I decided to take the observer role and let an adult walk through the process with the children. This gave me the opportunity to see how they interact with it. The task given to the adult was to walk through the process of the toy with the children using the visual shown on page 29 and my prototype. To create a reference I also let them use an off-shelve scientific kit. Within this off-shelve kit the children had to make a print off of their fingerprints. It provided two ways to do this, one with ink and paper and one with chalk and scotch tape. The manual from the off-shelve kit was almost entirely text, which means the parent had to direct the entire process. So there was no space to let the children use their own creativity. My manual was mainly visual, which resulted in an collaborative process between the parent and the children. There was no conclusion in the off-shelve kit, which resulted one the question from the children “Why did we do this?�. They had to make their fingerprints on a paper, but had no idea why and what to do with it. I created a story which they could follow and the result was a glowing apple if they did it right. This rewarding system and learning through story telling worked, because they could tell the story to others and get them involved. Which actually happened, after the test they went to the teacher and told the story about the apple and not about the fingerprint. Although my manual worked already better, it needed more depth to emphasize the story.


User test with off-shelve kit and prototype

Conclusions Biotecture provided me with new ideas as a replacement for the apple, to get it closer to the current developments of SB. Microorganisms which can detect toxics Microorganisms which create biofuels with yeast Organisms which can make materials (Like a goat which can produce spider-silk) I choose to continue with microorganisms which can detect toxics, because I could immediately imagine a story around it which children could relate to. Storytelling is an important conclusion of the user test, because it gets the children involved in the subject and makes them able to share the story afterwards. The DNA printer itself worked very well to show the complexity of DNA building blocks. Through the magnets their was only one way to create a successful DNA strand, but the mechanism should be improved for better and easier use.


34


User test with first prototype


36

MR. BACTERIA

CHAPTER 4


FINAL PRODUCT The final product consists of several elements explained below. Mr. Bacteria Meet Mr. Bacteria, he is a bacterium which wants to detect toxics in the water, so he can warn the children when they cannot drink the water. By letting the children build synthetic DNA for him, he can glow in the polluted water to communicate this. This is the short explanation of the story visualized in the picture book The picture book is the guideline of an interactive story which actively involves children. The story involves the children by letting them physically build new DNA for the bacterium, so he can complete the story. This DNA can be build with the DNA printer.

The DNA printer & DNA building blocks The printer contains the DNA building blocks (colored sticks) A’s, T’s, C’s and G’s, which can be dispensed from the printer by pushing the buttons and letting the sticks fall into the perti dish. On top of the printer are the DNA strands located, which indicates, through color, which sticks are needed to complete the DNA. The magnets in the A and T sticks (Blue and green) make sure the two strands connect together in the right way, so there is only one way to complete the DNA successfully before applying it into the Bacterium. The bacterium This wooden bacterium indicates the location of the DNA, again through magnets the DNA attaches itself to the bacterium. Besides that the bacterium contains electronics. By putting the bacterium with its new DNA into the water tank two electrodes connect, through the water, and complete an electronic circuit resulting in glowing LED’s. These glowing LED’s represent a successful execution of the process, because it represent the synthetically manipulated DNA applied in the bacterium also shown in the picture book.

Read the picture book on www.issuu.com/mxjjacobs/docs/meneer


38


Final design DNA printer


40


Final design bacteria, glowing in water


42


Final design, top view


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FINAL PRODUCT Prototyping & material choice The appearance of the DNA printer should communicate care and sustainability, because the subject, synthetic biology, should be taken seriously and handled with care. The product has to communicate this feeling. That’s why the DNA printer and bacterium are made of beech wood to give it a nostalgic and qualitative feeling. The handcrafted printer has got a sleek appearance with soften edges for a friendly touch. The bacterium is organic and based on the looks of Mr. Bacteria to create a connection between the cartoon and the object itself. The electronics used for the model are a transistor, electrodes and LED’s. The transistor will be conducted and create no potential different When the water level is high a positive potential will turn on the LED.


Prototyping at private workshop


46


Exploded view DNA printer


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EVALUATION Feedback During the Industrial Design exhibitions the feedback was overall very positive. The picture book got people exploring the product themselves, which is the essence of the book, so that worked well. The visuals were perceived as clear, communicative and adorable, something children will relate to. The people I had deeper qualitative conversations with did mention it needs one last iteration towards a real product. The interaction with the DNA strands and stick has to be smoothen and the bacterium can be more organic and colored like the Mr. Bacteria, to make the connection more clear. On a technical level one downside is that the bacterium also glows when there is no DNA attached, which should not happen. All feedback was focused on details, which I appreciated, because they perceived the concept as finished only the final step towards the market has to be made.


Client feedback

Future improvements

Unfortunately Biotecture was not able to visit during the exhibitions, so I met with them after the christmas holidays. They can only write feedback after their own deadlines (20th of January), which means this part is written by me based on our conversation. Upfront they did not understand my switch of user group and were afraid that the complexity of SB would be to overwhelming for children aged 6. But after seeing the final result, they changed their opinion and appreciated the direction. Their goal is to get it market ready, but with a new story. Biotecture recently changed their company mission from only focused on communicating synthetic biology and bacteria, towards knowledge development and awareness in overall life sciences. With my product they want to make this step from SB towards other life sciences, which means we are going to redesign the product. The idea now is to connect it to developments around diabetes medicines, also looking from a financial perspective. There are several diabetes instances which might be interested in collaborating and making this product find its way to the market. During the upcoming months Biotecture and I are going to work on the business plan and the redesign of my project.

After the exhibitions and feedback I decided to make an extra iteration on improving the product, before testing it again. But after the conversation with Biotecture there was no need in improving this product, because an entire new one has to be developed. Although the extra iteration did not take place, the plan was already defined. The DNA printer & DNA building blocks The DNA printer already had two iterations and has the expected interaction, so no extra iteration would take place concerning the printer. However the DNA sticks would get an new iteration. The connection between the sticks would change, from magnets into a male female connection. Now the magnets attract each other while lying in the petri dish, this would be solved by this new system. The DNA would become part of the electrical system by making the strand complete the circuit. The bacterium The bacterium would become more organic, to get the exact shape of Mr. Bacteria. Besides that it would be finished with a green stain, to get the same color as Mr. Bacteria as well. Instead of single LED’s I would apply a LED strip in the edge of the eye to get a smooth and even glow.


50

USER INVOLVEMENT

To be able to draw conclusions from my final model a new user test was arranged, to get insight wether this is a stand alone product, where no extra information is essential. The test set-up was with a mother and her 6 year old son (Stijn), who had no idea what they were about to do. Without any explanation I showed them the product and let them explore it themselves. The picture book work as expected, the visuals gave Stijn the opportunity to involve in the story which was read by his mother. There were no mistakes made during the process and they had no urge to ask me how to continue. Finally when they finished the process we had a small discussion to find out wether Stijn actually learned something from it and to see how his mother perceived this kit. Stijn was able to relate DNA to living organisms and to define what he thought what DNA actually is. The major feedback was to connect, indeed, Mr. Bacteria and the wooden bacterium better so they become one for the child. But what she especially appreciated was that there is hardly anything on in toy stores right now with an educational level connected to the toy. To create a promotional video, the user test is filmed. The video can be used to communicate the concept to investors or other future partners, which will be addressed in the part “business approach.

Video www.vimeo.com/mxjjacobs/meneer


BUSINESS APPROACH

Looking at the future developments of this concept, several recommendations are made to submit to Biotecture. Biotecture is not able to make major financial investments, so therefor investors have to be generated to get this product to the market. I will highlight one example, the diabetes fonds, which currently is one of the key element in the strategy. Diabetes fonds

Social enterprise

The diabetes fonds invests in scientific research concerning the developments of medicines for diabetes and on an understanding level of diabetes. But to get to improve the awareness of these developments they also invest in education regarding diabetes. This is where Biotecture can come in with the Mr. Bacteria concept. By adapting the concept towards one of the diabetes fonds educational focus points, it can become an added value to their awareness campaigns. Beside that it immediately founds a platform for promotion and marketing of the product because of their wide-range. Biotecture will address the diabetes fonds with the Mr. Bacteria concept, to find out wether their are opportunities for us to develop a new product in collaboration with them.

Looking at the production of the product, depends very much on the circulation of the first batch. Starting an entire new assembly line is expensive and risky, for a small company like Biotecture. An interesting alternative is using social enterprises for the production of such a product line. Social enterprises support local companies to develop their products from large to small circulations efficiently, with corporate social responsibility. Focused on creating the best circumstances for the investing company and the social enterprises employees. Which might be a perfect solution for the development of this product. Currently I am writing plan to contact Ergon, a social enterprise in Eindhoven, to find out if it is a realistic option to use to develop the product.


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REFLECTIONS

Although the project is finished within the TU/e I am confident it is not the end of the development of the concept itself. The process of getting to this point was not always easy. I had my own questions regarding synthetic biology, which path should be the “right” one and what consequences are their when I, as a designer, share my opinion through a product. These questions returned every iteration, but eventually got me to the point of looking at the bigger picture and seeing opportunities. It is about communicating something futuristic, but with the knowledge people have today. That’s why I designed the product for todays market, so people can relate to it and define their own opinion for the future. Finding this balance between futuristic and realistic was the though part, also related to the client Biotecture. I realized during this process that I should communicating my thoughts and ideas carefully. My perspective and Biotecture’s perspective on SB is totally different because of our background differences, which means I should present my work taking into account their way of thinking so they can engage in my thinking process.


I believe it is the task of the designer to see what a client actually wants or needs, but engaging them in that process is essential for a healthy collaboration. For example Biotecture had difficulties with my choice of user group, because of the complexity of SB. But after showing prototypes and results of user test, their perspective changed. Which means through the product they could understand my way of thinking. But the question raising is, would it have been better to involve them, in my focus change, at the moment when I already had a prototype and a proof of concept or would that still be to sudden? Of course every situation stands alone, but finding out how to make these decisions, will be in my focus next semester.

One of my goals this semester was keep to track of my design process to create a balance between intuitive and academic decisions. I stayed aware of this goal the entire semester, because of the importance for myself. During my final bachelor project my reasonings where mainly based on intuition, which made it difficult to have concrete evidence why I made some decisions. When I did intuitive decision making during this project I reconsidered the step afterwards with academic evidence to found my decision. This made me able to keep a, for me, natural design process, but with grounded reasoning which actually gave it more depth and direction. This makes me excited to do my research project next semester, because I found the added value in balancing intuition and academic knowledge without compromising.


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LITERATURE

[1] Khalil A.S. and Collins J.J., 2010, Synthetic Biology, Application Come of Age [2] NASA research www.nasa.gov/centers/ames [3] European group on Ethics in science and new technologies, 2010, ethics of synthetic biology [4] BBC Horizon documentary Playing God [5] Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg, E-cromi www.vimeo.com/19759432 [6] DIY Bio group, www.diybio.org [7] Balmer A. and Martin P., 2008, Synthetic Biology, Social and ethical impact [8] Andrianantoandro E., Basu S., Karig D.K. and Weiss R., 2006, Synthetic biology: new engineering rules for an emerging discipline [9] Villalobos A., Ness J.E., Gustafsson C., Minshull J. and Govindarajan S., 2006, Gene Designer: a synthetic biology tool for constructing artificial DNA segments [10] Liss M., Daubert D., Brunner K., Kliche K., Hammes U., Leiherer A. and Wagner R., 2012, Embedding Permanent Watermarks in Synthetic Genes [11] 2010.igem.org/Team:TU_Delft [12] Frans de Waal, 2008, The age of empathy [13] Tomico Plasencia O., 2009, Co-reflection:user involvement aimed at societal transformation [14] Piaget J., 1952, The origins of intelligence in children


Other literature Wahl T.I., McCluskey J.J. and Curtis K.R., 2004, Consumer Acceptance of Genetically Modified Food Products in the Developing World Synthetic biology explained www.technyou.edu.au Tuur van Balen www.cohenvanbalen.com Psychology persuasion www.copyblogger.com/socialpsychologypersuasion Material beliefs www.materialbeliefs.com/prototypes Super-cell supermarket www.super-cell.org The tomorrow project: Synthetic Biology Synthetic Aesthetics www.syntheticaesthetics.org Going viral www.design-crisis.com/?p=317


Mr. Bacteria  

This document reports the process of a first year master design project aimed on creating this awareness of synthetic biology, through desig...

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