Goldsmiths Design student Lena Asai featured in article on biohacking

BBC Focus Magazine published an article on biohacking in its December 2015 issue, which mentioned Goldsmiths Design student Lena Asai:

London’s Biohackspace currently has about 20 regular members from various backgrounds, ranging from artists to engineers. Most have no scientific training. Lena Asai, a design student at Goldsmiths, University of London, got interested after seeing biology-inspired art at a museum in her native Japan, where a scientist suggested she find a community lab. That led her to Biohackspace.

“They didn’t know what to do with me in the beginning,” explains Asai. “The first thing I said was, ‘I want to play around with DNA and stuff’. Obviously I didn’t know anything back then!” She has since attended a bootcamp at University College London (UCL) to learn basic genetic modification techniques. Her goal is to bring scientists and artists together. “We’re not doing science just for fun,” she says. “A communal lab is a great place where we should initiate collaboration.”

Read the whole article on Science Focus


Design alumna worked on heartbeat-connecting device

Nowadays technology makes it easier for us to see and hear our loved ones even when they are far away from us, but a new product developed by the start-up Little Riot (which includes Goldsmiths Design alumna Marion Lean) may bring a different kind of intimacy to long-distance relationships: Pillow Talk is a device that allows wearers to share each other’s heartbeats. Comprised of a wristband, app and speaker, the system transmits one partner’s heartbeat directly to the other one’s pillow.

Little Riot, the all-women start-up which developed Pillow Talk, was founded by Joanna Montgomery and also includes Marion Lean, who graduated from an MA in Design: Critical Practice at Goldsmiths in 2012. Marion says: “Pillow Talk offers a way to completely rethink the way we interact using technology today. At Goldsmiths we’re taught to go out and disrup the status quo, and given by the numbers of requests weve already had it seems people are keen for disruption.” (You can read a detailed story on Pillow Talk on the Goldsmiths website).

If you want to help Pillow Talk become a real-life product, you can support it on Kickstarter until 10 December. It seems the idea is already quite popular, and it has been featured in many media outlets, including Wired and the Daily Mail.

Alumnus Justin Ramsden featured in Channel 4 programme on Lego

The Channel 4 documentary ‘The Secret World of Lego’ aired last Sunday evening, but if you missed it, you can catch it online– and you definitely should! Not just because Legos are awesome, but also because a Goldsmiths Design graduate was featured in the show.

Justin Ramsden, who graduated with a BA in Design in 2014, works as a designer of Lego models, and you will get to see him in action in the Channel 4 programme.

(And if you want to find out more about Justin and his work, re-read this interview with him that appeared on the Design blog last year.)