Collaborative project proposal for the Designer and Artist for genomics awards 2010.
A piece of cheese with a great smell, washing powder that work with low temperatures or a tablet to get rid of your headache. These are all examples where bio-informatics interfaces with the consumer. The scientists designs these products from behind his computer. The consumer buys these products simply at the supermarket. We, NBIC and local intelligence are engaging in the conversation between these two worlds and design the relations in the form of an tool, a game, and experience.
A researcher in bio-informatics spends most of his time behind a computer. They search in databases, combine data, model with 3D software, program new techniques and try, in this way to clarify processes that involve cells, proteins and genomes. The activities of a bio-computer scientist mostly go way beyond the understand of the average citizen.
A consumer that finds himself in the supermarket has a lot of choice. Just making the choice of which butter to buy can already be quite a task. Variety in brands, kinds but also can a choice be made based on a health perspective, e.g. butter with plant sterols that lower the cholesterol absorption. All these are difficult terms to which most consumers have no message. Is this safe?
Two worlds that have a lot in common although this is not often being recognized by scientists and consumers. The scientists supplies the consumer with new products, the consumer supplies the scientist with a context with needs and demands. The question now is how to start the conversation, where duos the understanding of each other start? This project is about the designing of this connection where the NBIC (Netherlands Bioinformatics Centre) plays the role of being the HUB between science and marketplace.
This project is a research to develop a tool / experience / game that can be used by NBIC to engage with the public as well as in the professional field to establish and build relations between the involved parties, to see where the bio-informatics can become build a relation to the world the y work for and the other way around. This works two ways: society gets inspired to want to know about the origin of products and scientists get inspired to rethink their research, to be come more aware of the how to make their processes insightful.
This is the start of a conversation between two groups. The game helps to bring these parties closer together and enables them to better understand each others worlds. The result will generate interesting opportunities for bio-informatics to to profile themselves to the world and open the doors for commercial use and development of the sector. The NBIC will not only function as intermediator between the different scientist but also as intermediator between scientists, business and society.