The designers at Ginkgo Bioworks, the “organism company” we profiled in MOLD Magazine’s first issue on the microbiome, is inviting designers of all stripes to spend three months at their Cambridge, Massachusetts labs to consider the ways that biology might serve as an inspiration to re-design a world without waste.

Microbial co-authors create textile dyes during Natsai Audrey Chieza’s (Faber Futures) Ginkgo Creative Residency in 2017.

For the third annual Ginkgo Creative Residency, designing a world without waste using the technology of synthetic biology and the tenets of a circular economy can offer a key insight into supply chain, material innovation and our relationship with commodities for the forseeable future. As the brief for the residency spells out:

When it comes to waste, nature remains a remarkable teacher. Even in the most complex of ecosystems, biology wastes nothing. How then do we learn from biology to re-design everything? For the 2019 Ginkgo Creative Residency, we are seeking proposals that explore how to re-design a world without waste.

An approach to synthetic biology that integrates whole systems thinking will play a pivotal role in a transition from a linear culture of produce/ consume/ discard, to one that is circular by design. Re-imagining waste might mean designing materials able to transform, industries without pollution, responsible business models, hybrid supply chains, renewable energy systems and economics working within planetary boundaries. Where integrating biology and design helps us to think holistically in systems, synthetic biology can equip us with the tools to design systems that are living. From the food we eat to the clothes we wear, we’d like Ginkgo’s next creative resident to explore the problem of waste through the lens of biology.

The Open Call ends on March 24th so get your proposal ready for submission to the jury that includes LinYee Yuan, founder and editor of MOLD, Lucy Siegle, writer and broadcaster at The Guardian, and Emeka Okafor, curator of TED Global! The three month residency begins June 1st and ends August 31st.