Talk with Andrea Ling, winner of S+T+ARTS Prize 2020

STARTS TalkJuly 7 20207:30 p.m. - 9 p.m.

Andrea Ling is winner of the S+T+ARTS Prize 2020 for category Artistic Exploration with her project Design by Decay, Decay by Design, produced during her residency with Ginkgo Bio works in 2019.

Design by Decay, Decay by Design is based on the understanding that if we produce waste, we better produce waste as nature designs it. During her residency at Ginkgo Bio Works, Ling developed methods to create materials and objects out of biological processes working with fungi and bacterial cellulose, and designing with enzymes and other agents to engineer with the notion that one system’s entropy is the other system’s organisation. Before working with Ginkgo, she worked with similar strategies in collaboration with the Mediated Matter Group at MIT, where she did her masters.

During this S+T+ARTS Talk at Waag on July 7, Andrea Ling will present her work, followed by a presentation of colleague Brenda Parker, lecturer bio chemical engineering at University College London. Both presentations will be followed by a conversation together with Cecilia Raspanti, co-initiator of Waag’s TextileLab and teacher at Fabricademy.

The S+T+ARTS Talk will be moderated by Lucas Evers.

About the artist and project

Andrea Ling is an architect, artist, and researcher working at the intersection of design, fabrication, and biology. Ling is the 2019 Ginkgo Bioworks creative-in-residence and recently graduated from the MIT Media Lab, working in the Mediated Matter Group. Her current work revolves around designing responsive skins informed by material ecology-centered design research. She is an architect with the Ontario Architect’s Association and a founding partner of designGUILD, an artist collective, based in Toronto that focuses on large-scale public art projects. As a former project lead at Philip Beesley Architect, she worked on a series of immersive kinetic installations exhibited at the Museum of Modern & Contemporary Art in Seoul, the Fiber Arts Triennial in Hangzhou, the Fondation EDF in Paris, the Dutch Electronic Arts Festival in Rotterdam, the Sydney Biennale, and VIDA Fundacion Telefonica in Madrid. She was also the project co-ordinator for the studio’s collaboration with Iris van Herpen on her VOLTAGE collection. She finished her MS from MIT, and her M.Arch at the University of Waterloo with a background in human physiology from the University of Alberta. She is interested in material research, physical story-telling, and making things that re-define the built environment.

Design by Decay, Decay by Design is a series of artefacts that exhibit designed decay. They were done for the 2019 Ginkgo Bioworks Creative Residency on how to design a world without waste. “As an architect and artist, I recognise that most of what I create goes to landfill. If that is the case, let me design waste that I can live with, garbage that retains some desirability as it degrades in sight and on site. Let me design waste as nature designs it, not only as the product of breakdown and destruction but also as input for renewal and construction. In biology, one system’s entropy is another system’s organisation. With the assistance of Ginkgo, my goal was to organise decay, using enzymes, fungus, bacteria, and other biological agents as ways of decomposing and composing biological matter at the same time. By mediating decay through species selection, control of environmental conditions, and nutrient templating, I am actively pursuing mutability as a desired quality in the physical world as well as guarantee that the mechanisms of constructive renewal will be embedded into that world.”

This S+T+ARTS Talk is being organised by Waag, within S+T+ARTS Prize program, in collaboration with Ars Electronica and Bozar.

Design by Decay, Decay by Design / Andrea Ling