London Design Festival 2018 - Biodesign Here Now​​​​​​​
Can you imagine that tobacco could become the plant for health? What if you could grow your own medicine?
In fact, what if your local farmer could supply you with all your health and high-end beauty products?
And if you could do it, what kind of plant would you design?
Plant molecular farming is a young branch of biotechnology that works with engineered or specifically bred plants in order to produce cosmetic or pharmaceutical substances – including skin moisturizer, antibodies and vaccines. Two EU funded projects are doing just that - and with plants you wouldn’t initially connect with health topics: tobacco.Newcotiana uses New Plant Breeding Techniques to create bio-factories out of tobacco plants, which will produce medical, pharmaceutical and cosmetic products. Pharma-Factory focuses on using classic bio-engineering techniques to advance medical, veterinary and diagnostic products.
You are invited to take part in our work of designing plants: explore the tools and techniques, and question our ambitions. You will find a speculative series of illustrations and props that take the cutting-edge technologies out of the labs and stage them as daily activities. The questions we ask may appear simple, but they touch upon economical, environmental and social dimensions.
Plant Designer invites you to imagine different futures and to raise your own questions.
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Produced by Biofaction KG Austria, St Georges University of London and LCC University of the Arts London
Idea: Markus Schmidt
Content development, production and supervision:
Markus Schmidt, Alison Prendiville, Sebastian Fuller and Silvia Grimaldi
Graphic and exhibition design: Ege Kökel and Sujin Park
Scientific advice: Markus Schmidt and Lei Pei
Coordination and texts: Sandra Youssef
Prototyping: Ege Kökel, Isabel Prade, Alison Prendiville and Silvia Grimaldi
On-site coordination: Sebastian Fuller, Jonathan Menary and Matthew Hobbs
Newcotiana and Pharma-Factory have received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation programme under grant agreements No. 760331 and No. 774078.
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