THE BONE PROJECT
For ethical, economical and sustainable reasons we going to harvest meat in laboratories instead of raising and killing animals due to the food industry and intensive breeding. This is possible thanks to the technology of stem cells, which allow to artificially recreate an entire muscle tissue starting from a single cell taken from the animal without using any kind of violence or mistreatment.The Bones Project is aiming to artificially reproduce a scaffold where the stem cell can found the ideal substratum to grow. But this artificial bone can also be used as it has been used for centuries, simply as a tool for eating.
The bones were the first wasted/recycled material used by humans. The Neanderthal flute known as Divje Babe is the first artefact ever made by a human (around 85.000 years ago), and came from a “recycled” femur of a cave bear. But also as Stanley Kubric teaches us in Space Odyssey, the bones was used as the first weapon ever. But if we talk about the bones we immediately think about the food.
Indeed another interesting aspect is that despite thousands of years of civilisation our approach to eating meat is essentially the same. When we eat a chicken leg we use our hands and use the chicken bone as a cutlery. In fact what has radically changed over the centuries aren’t our gestures, but the way of producing meat. In near future the meat will be grown in the laboratory using stem cells to reproduce the muscle tissues of the animals.But at this point what will happen to the bones? My research aim is to print bones in 3D, from known chemical elementsof Hydroxyapatite. This is for four main reasons: the first is structural (the stem cells need a scaffold to grow), the second is nutritional (the bones give to the food the essential mineral elements), the third is physical (we need to rip and chew the meat to keep the facial muscles trained), and last one is psychological (the food has to be recognise as such). As a designer, my role is to contextualize and anticipate the future of food production and consumption. What will be our next way to eat? which tools we are going to use? Use based on the socio-cultural change and the impact of new technologies.
The Bio-design workshop and exhibition was curated by Eric Klarenbeek