OPEN CALL: Ginkgo Creative Residency 2020

By Lindsay Hanson

A joint initiative spearheaded and curated by Ginkgo Bioworks and Faber Futures, the Ginkgo Creative Residency provides an experimental platform for creative thinkers to explore both the potential and implications of synthetic biology from Ginkgo’s HQ in Boston, MA, USA. We’re thrilled to announce the open call launch for the 2020 Ginkgo Creative Residency!


Fields as diverse as architecture, biology, fashion, nanotechnology and beauty, share a startlingly unique, yet obvious common denominator: SKIN. Breathable, tactile, sensorial, responsive, elastic, impermeable, repellent–all words that capture its dynamism. Skin as organ, sensor, actuator, membrane, ecosystem and envelope. Skin as an interface for other interactions–both physical and metaphysical– to occur.

From the spatial configurations that provide protective barriers from skin, to formulations that aid molecular delivery into skin, technology mediates interplays between the many skins we inhabit. Where DNA sequencing gives us a high-resolution perspective on the kinds of exchanges our skin shares in concert with other species (and even their own symbionts), synthetic biology enables us to compose building blocks for diverse materialities of skin. Meanwhile, the natural world has evolved myriad possibilities of the optic and the haptic qualities of skin, including those organisms that camouflage or shape-shift in adaptation to their environments. But how do these wonders, insights and capabilities intersect with the subjectivity of the real-world, and between human and non-human life?

We’d like Ginkgo’s next creative resident to expand these imaginaries through the exploration of SKIN as a biological interface.

Applications are now open and will close on the 13th of March 2020.

For insights into what it’s like to be a Creative Resident at Ginkgo read our previous resident’s blog posts here.


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