The Biodesign Challenge: Seeding a Generation of Biodesigners to Shape Future Synthetic Biology Products and Applications

Daniel Grushkin, LEAP Advisor, and Journalist-in-Residence

Structured as a multi-university competition, the Biodesign Challenge is an education program that partners biologists with art and design students to envision the future of biotech. It seeks to educate a generation of biodesigners—biotechnology professionals working at the intersection of biotech and society. The program is building a community of scientists, artists, and designers who explore how biotech can create new industries, fit into and change existing industries, and reveal biotech’s ethical, social, and environmental implications. In addition, BDC displays student projects at galleries and museums—including the Museum of Modern Art—to foster public dialogue about desired futures. The program piloted in 2016 in nine US universities and is now in twenty-three universities worldwide.