Wendell Lim

Wendell Lim is a professor in the Department of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), and an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Lim received his A.B. in chemistry at Harvard University, his Ph.D. in biochemistry and biophysics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and completed postdoctoral research in molecular biophysics atYale University. He is the recipient of awards from the Packard Foundation, Searle Foundation, Burroughs Wellcome Fund, and the Protein Society. He is the director of the UCSF/NIH Center for Systems and Synthetic Biology, director of the Cell Propulsion Lab, an nih Roadmap Nanomedicine Development Center, and deputy director of the National Science Foundation (NSF) Synthetic Biology Engineering Research Center. Lim’s research focuses on cell signaling—understanding the molecular circuits that allow cells to communicate, detect signals, make decisions, and execute complex behaviors. He is a pioneer in the emerging field of synthetic biology, which attempts to utilize our understanding of biological mechanisms to engineer cells and biological systems with useful applications in diverse areas ranging from medicine to agriculture to energy. He is a leading expert on how to rewire cells to control and modulate what types of decisions they make. He is interested in how the design process can be creatively applied in science.

Will Carey

Will Carey is a designer at IDEO (Palo Alto, California) who focuses on combining interaction and industrial design to create provocative and inspiring experiences. He is particularly attentive to the relationship between people and technology and the role of new innovations in shaping our behavior both physically and digitally. He sees an important role for design in provoking thought and discussion, and this curiosity drives him to explore new scenarios in which it is possible to question the social and ethical implications of emerging technology. Will has worked internationally in London, Japan, Milan, and San Francisco. He has exhibited in London, Milan, NewYork, and Tokyo, and won internationally recognized design awards, including Design Week’s Future of Design,Wallpaper’s Best Debut Collection, and, most recently, Blueprint’s Best Show, during 100% Design London. Will has a B.A. in product design from Central St Martin’s, London, and an M.A. in Design Interactions from the Royal College of Art.
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"Packaging That Creates Its Contents" in Paris

 

"Packaging that Creates its Contents" by Synthetic Aesthetics residents Will Carey, Adam Reineck, Reid Williams, and Wendell Lim was exhibited at En Vie/ Alive, curated by Carole Collet at Espace Fondation EDF, Paris, France, April 26 2013 – September 1 2013

"We imagine an extreme probiotic drink that relies on bacteria to morph into a physical cup when exposed to a specific light wavelength. During shipping and storage, these light-moulded cups  are ‘alive’ but remain dormant until water is poured inside, creating an effervescent, healthy drink. After several uses, the cup’s walls begin to degrade and it can be composted.

‘Packaging That Creates Its Contents’ helps people think about what the world would be like if packaging never created waste. Hotwiring what scientists are already doing with bacteria – responding to light, in this case – completely changes the concept of packaging. By imagining biodegradable, lightweight containers built from living materials that reanimate when filled with liquid, the project aims to provoke further design exploration of the potential of synthetic biology for industrial design and packaging applications.

“Intriguingly, objects made from living organisms could have unique properties that go beyond their mode of manufacture,” writes Christopher Mims for Fast Company. “In this concept, the bacteria used to grow the cup is also an aid to digestion. Once filled with plain water, the cup starts to produce probiotics. Such a cup would challenge one of the primary tenets of consumer goods; namely, that packaging is secondary to the product being sold.”

The intersection of design and science allows both fields to explore new questions. Developing a closer relationship with biology allows designers to begin to imagine a future with no waste. Understanding how to program living organisms points to a new frontier of coding – beyond software, into materiality. This project has been developed with the support of IDEO San Francisco."

Photo: Nicolas Zurcher, Render: IDEO. 

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Growing plants engineered for their field

 

Read more about the ongoing work of Will Carey and Adam Reineck from IDEO and Reid Williams from the Lim Lab at UCSF in this FastCompany article here.

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