What happens when you decouple design from the marketplace, when rather than making technology sexy, easy to use and more consumable, designers use design to pose questions, inspire, and provoke — to transport our imaginations into parallel but possible worlds?

Our research explores new ways design can make technology more meaningful and relevant to our lives, both now, and in the future, by thinking not only about new applications but implications as well. Research projects are funded through a mixture of research council, European Union, cultural, academic and industrial organisations.

If you would like to discuss possibilities for working together, please contact us.

You can see more research projects here.

Recent advances in synthetic biology are making the design of new life forms an increasingly real possibility. Driven by an engineering approach to biology, the future scientist/designer is envisioned as an architect of life, creating living organisms from a library of standardised and replicable parts.

However, life may or may not agree with the industrial paradigm we feel comfortable with. Living organisms are unstable, random and context specific. They are subject to evolution, mutations and symbiosis. Additionally, once science gets out of the lab and into the world it becomes part of much bigger systems such as economics, politics and human beliefs – with surprising outcomes for better or worse.

This series of projects investigates the gap between the promises of engineering biology and the complex and conflicted world we live in. Each scenario is set in a very specific context, ranging form healthcare to green politics and bonzai grooming, and probes the potential impact of biotechnology on society and culture.


Blueprints for the Unknown is a project by Design Interactions Research at the Royal College of Art in London, as part of the european art-science programme Studiolab.

Blueprints for the Unknown, 2015