UMK: Lives and Landscapes, 2014
Not Here, Not Now, 2014
The School of Constructed Realities, 2014
Speculative Everything: Design, Fiction, and Social Dreaming, 2013
United Micro Kingdoms, 2012/13
What if... Beijing International Design Triennial, 2011
St Etienne Design Biennale, 2010
Between Reality and the Impossible, 2010
Wellcome Windows, 2010
EPSRC IMPACT! Exhibition, 2010
Designs for an Overpopulated Planet: Foragers, 2009
What If..., 2009
After Life Euthanasia Device, 2009
Work in progress, 2009
Do you want to replace the existing normal? 2007/08
Technological Dreams Series: No.1, Robots, 2007
Spymaker, 2006/07
Evidence Dolls, 2005
Designs for Fragile Personalities in Anxious Times, 2004/05
Is This Your Future? 2004
BioLand, 2002/03
Placebo Project, 2001
Park Interactives, 2000
MSET, 2000/01
Project #26765: Flirt, 1998-00
Weeds, Aliens and Other Stories, 1994-98
Hertzian Tales, 1994-97
Designs for an Overpopulated Planet: Foragers, 2009
Digester Dress
Augmented Digestive System
Tree Processors / Digesters
Tree Processor / Digester
Augmented Digestive System
Plant Processor / Digester
Various Processing / Digesting Devices
Augmented Digestive System and Tree Processor
Grass Processor
Algae Digesters
Algae Digester
Algae Digester
The world is running out of food – we need to produce 70% more food in the next 40 years according to the UN. Yet we continue to over-populate the planet, use up resources and ignore all the warning signs. It is completely unsustainable.

For this project Dunne & Raby look at evolutionary processes and molecular technologies and how we can take control. The assumption is that governments and industry together will not solve the problem and that groups of people will need to use available knowledge to build their own solutions, bottom-up.

So far we have not really embraced the power to modify ourselves. What if we could extract nutritional value from non-human foods using a combination of synthetic biology and new digestive devices inspired by digestive systems of other mammals, birds, fish and insects?

As such, a group of people take their fate into their own hands and start building DIY devices. They use synthetic biology to create “microbial stomach bacteria”, along with electronic and mechanical devices, to maximise the nutritional value of the urban environment, making-up for any shortcomings in the commercially available but increasingly limited diet. These people are the new urban foragers.

Foragers is about the contrast between bottom-up and top-down responses to a massive problem and the role played by technical and scientific knowledge. It builds on existing cultures currently working on the edges of society, who may initially appear extreme and specialist – guerrilla gardeners, garage biologists, freegan gleamers etc. By adapting and expanding these strategies, they become models to speculate on what might happen in the future.

Video: Nicolas Myers
Computer Modelling: Graeme Findlay
Sound Design: Bernd Hopfengärtner
Thanks to: Ravi Naidoo, David Davidson, Nadine Botha, Mathew Knott-Craig.

Commissioned by Design Indaba as part of Protofarm 2050 for the ICSID World Design Congress in Singapore.

Protofarm 2050 features five designers looking beyond the possibilities and predictions currently in the public domain. Based on a 2050 of increased urbanisation and population, limited natural resources, climate challenges and digital-biological integration, these unique design scenarios envision the sustainable cultivation of renewable resources.

Protofarm Team: Dunne & Raby, 5.5 Designers, Frank Tjpekema, Futurefarmers, Revital Cohen.

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