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invitro

Human genome editing as a service

November 2018, 8 Weeks

Challenge

In just the past few years, advances in genetic engineering have been happening at a breakneck speed — companies started to commercialize the technology. As convincing as the ethical arguments may be, it is hard to believe that the next steps will be prevented in a society of continuous self-improvement.

As recent developments have shown, the issue about the consequences of genetic engineering is more relevant than ever. The only thing we can do is to influence the direction we are taking and to debate how a desirable future with genetic engineering might look like.

Solution

Invitro is speculative concept, aiming to spark discussions on the social and ethical implications of a society, that has decided to fully exploit the opportunities of human genome editing.
By drawing this layer of imaginary services and products, we provide a glimpse into a speculative future — aiming to raise a critical mindset on the profound implications of a society driven by the supremacy of the biological genome. It's an approach to stimulate a discussion on the ethics of genetic engineering and to raise awareness on the matter.


Team

Max Mertens
Florian Deitermann
Janis Walser

Narrative

The project draws upon the idea of a society, in which the genome quality of each individual is quantified through a score. This score is based on an alteration of the polygenic risk score and on genetic traits, that have no explicit health effects, but instead have impact on cultural and social bias. 


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invitro™

The narrative of this scenario is based on objects and touch points of a gene modification system that is provided by a fictional biotech company called Invitro.

Invitro offers human genome editing as a service. Offering genetic traits via a consumerized web shop, Invitro enables their customers to browse through curated offerings, get inspired and eventually find the right traits for their planed children. The web shop is build around the genetic score, where each trait is marked with the expected score improvement, to guide and support decision-making of the consumer.

Product

Core of the system is an artificial womb, which is capable of performing genetic modifications using the CRISPR technology, enabling the consumer to interact with it and to execute the desired modifications right at home.

Power to change everything. Say hello to AW-01 that is new in every way. With the greatest advancement in pioneering technology yet, it is the biotechnological breakthrough which push the limits of what is possible.

The use of the second series of our artificial womb and Invitro™ — Enhancements, will enable your little ones the best possible start in life.

Enable your dearest to have a good start in life. Because why would you not do it?

AW-01 remote from $1999

Power to
change

Our artificial womb is like any other pregnancy but then without the physical restrictions. Changing your traits, enhancing your new generation is easier than ever with invitro and AW-01. Health is best maintained when we are able to treat at the source.

1-Click
Enhancement

With an upcoming update, AW-01 can record desired parts of the daily life of the family. A build-in sensor and with your daily device you can record sounds, movements, temperature and share it with your baby while he/she is still growing in the AW-01.

New Feeding
Add on

A new part of the development is the baby's taste and food intake. The Aw-01 tracks what the baby has eaten and what it needs to stay healthy. Besides, Nutrition can be individually adjusted to your personal eating habits.

AW-01 — Function defines form

The artificial womb is provided with an interface, allowing the user to observe the genome of his child, giving him an overview on the current status of the genetic score.

Reflection

By drawing this layer of imaginary services and products, we provide a glimpse into a speculative future — aiming to raise a critical mindset on the profound implications of a society driven by the supremacy of the biological genome. It's an approach to spark a discussion on the ethics of genetic engineering and to raise awareness on the matter.

About

This is a student project created during winter semester 2018 as part of the course Speculative Design.

Supervision

Maik Groß
Paul Kaeppler
Hochschule für Gestaltung
Schwäbisch Gmünd

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hfg-gmuend.de