Brona McVittie reports :: June 2008

As part of the second Fabrics of Life workshop, on Friday 23rd May 2008, leading scientists from all over Europe presented their Model organisms to young designers at Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design in London.

Science presentations covered the joys of working with fruitflies; exploring the effects of Prozac on nematode worms; watching the development of African claw-toed frogs; learning about cyclops and zebrafish; getting under the shell of a chicken egg; watching the weird and wonderful social life of amoebas; and for good measure, a healthy dose of plant pornography.

Amazing facts from the morning’s presentations included:
• The effects of Viagra were discovered by accident while it was being tested as a clinical cardiac drug (Steve Nurrish)
• Earwigs have two penises, but they prefer to use the one on the right (Steve Wilson)

The afternoon workshop was facilitated by a host of professionals in the fields of art, design and fashion. With the help of a facilitator, scientists and students brainstormed ways in which to conceive of key scientific principles as design models. On Friday 30th May, designers presented their proposals as a series of product ideas and short films, which you can preview below.

Read about last year's workshop...

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