Living Station

Week 25
  • Living Station Inspiration

Christina Agapakis: What Happens When Biology Becomes Technology?

In her art and scientific work, Christina Agapakis blurs the boundaries between nature and technology to practice a new kind of engineering, taking into account both human and cultural forces.

“We’ve been promised a future of chrome — but what if the future is fleshy?” asks biological designer Christina Agapakis. In this awe-inspiring talk, Agapakis details her work in synthetic biology — a multidisciplinary area of research that pokes holes in the line between what’s natural and artificial — and shares how breaking down the boundaries between science, society, nature and technology can lead us to imagine different possible futures.

Why you should listen

In the lab, Christina Agapakis has worked on enzymes involved in the production of biofuels and mapped the evolution of microbial communities in the soil. As an artist, she’s isolated halophilic bacteria from California’s Salton Sea and made cheese from bacteria living on human skin.

As creative director of the biotech firm Ginkgo Bioworks, Agapakis works to establish more open, equitable and renewable technologies.