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The Synthetic Kingdom by Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg considers how natural or unnatural life will be classified when all life is built from scratch. Synthetic biology means that instead of using petrochemicals we will be able to select a feature from an existing organism, take its DNA and insert it into a biological “chassis” to create entirely artificial life-forms that are able to compute, produce energy, clear pollution, manufacture self-healing materials, kill pathogens and do housework. But even in this Synthetic Kingdom of living machines, there needs to be control, because biology doesn’t respect boundaries or patents. Would we degrade our sense of self if our lives are simplified to molecular interactions? Is synthetic biology and all it has to offer worth this compromise?
CV: Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg is a designer, artist and researcher interested in the future and how design will shape this future.
Read "To form or multiply", an investigation into what design can contribute to synthetic biology, written by Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg.