In recent projects around biotechnology – from actual engineering projects to speculative design projects, such as DNA origami and E.Chromi, are broadening spectrum of approaches to designing in nano scale. An interesting part is, either in synthetic biology or biosensors, there is a strong tendency of observing structures of lives from the computational point of view. My goal was in this project was to explore process of building a life in computational ways, furthermore, to address questions such as What would man-created creatures be like? Can our computationally designed creature blend into the nature? What does it mean to create lives? However, above all, the most critical question would be this; what would the relationship between new creatures and human society be?
BeHAVIoR : Algorithmic Creature is a workshop held by a fictional company, BeHAVIoR. In a speculative world that biotechnology became a popular element of DIY culture through biohacker space so that a project like E.Chromi became an iconic brand of bioproducts, one of the issues that the biohacker culture faces is about deploying personal bioproducts to the nature. There are discussions around any necessity of releasing them into the wild and concerns of impacts, however, there is a problem to be solved to bring these discussions onto the table. In the wild, these bioproducts can not survive – they lack algorithms for that. The job of BeHAVIoR is to provide survival algorithms to human created bioproducts of which a creator wants to deploy them to the wild for various reasons. The workshop, Algorithmic Creature, is a part of social reaching out program of the company that tried to be connected with designer’s communities, consists of general introduction to the company and actual workshop of building algorithms. It is designed to be held at design schools with a visit of a moderator from the company, with any field of design students as participants. Much like designing computer program algorithms, the participants use flowchart as a tool of design.
With a brochure that includes design guidelines and questions provoking participant imagination, and designed performance of the moderator, the workshop stands as a design piece that brings the issue of living with artificial lives, and opens conversation of who we are as creators of new types of life, and what our relationship with them would be.