The emergence of synthetic biology has equipped humankind with a powerful tool, one that proffers a range of possibilities we can only begin to imagine today. Scientists have opened the door to a new field of research, and are writing the opening lines of a narrative that will change the world. Artists and designers are already drawing inspiration from these very promising research results, addressing the current scientific state of the art, and forming new concepts we will be able to take advantage of in the future. We’re coming up with products that expand our perception and enable us to get better acquainted with ourselves, that replace the functions of electrical devices with living systems and use biological processes to create fascinating works of art.
Nature can be designed and modified according to our own conceptions. We can endow new forms of life with traits that we intentionally copy from other creatures and release them into the environment. But what limits do we come up against in synthetic biology? And have we really taken everything into consideration when our living constructions enter the biosphere? Like no other tool that humankind has ever brought forth, synthetic biology calls for responsible, mature thinking on our part—preferably demonstrated before commencing our interventions.