If genetically modified silk worms could weave the scaffold for your donor heart instead of a machine – what would you prefer?
The silk worm Bombyx Mori has been domesticated for more than 5000 years. The sericulture would weave biodegradable scaffolds for organs, tissues, biosensors and even products - from ‘hardware’ to novel ‘wetware’. As cardiovascular diseases are globally number one cause of death we will face an increasing scarcity of donor hearts. But does dealing with living material require a more humane way of production? Could this even impact our relationship with the inanimate world around us?

Objects: Hand blown glass, RP Zp150, degummed silk
Photography: 3 digital C-type prints, mounted on Aluminium 17.5 (W)x 21.5 cm (H)

« The donor heart recipients visit the organ craftsmen to see the commissioned organ »

« The silk scaffolds waiting to be brought to life »

« The silkworms weave in a collective the desired shape instead of their cocoons »

[ See the FLICKR- SET ]

Scientific advice/ Alexander Kahlig (Phd)/ Fraunhofer IGB Stuttgart, Dr Suwan N. Jayasinghe, BioPhysics Group, Department of Mechanical Engineering/ UCL, Dr Julian Jonas at Department for Biomaterials/ Imperial College London, Christopher Hirst, Synthetic Biology & Bioengineering Department/ Imperial College London
Thomas May, Silkworm Breeder from London, Oliver Weisbrod + Ueli Ramseier (Projekt Swiss Silk)
DESIGNED, DIRECTED + PRODUCED Veronica Ranner with help of
Glassblowing/ Shen Tsang Chen
Photographic assistance/ Diego Trujillo
Actors/ Julian Lamoral-Roberts, Christopher Goh, Sylvia Seymour
Thanks for the support by Anthony Dunne, Fiona Raby and James Auger

Exhibition / Curious Minds - New Approaches in Design, Dec 2011 - Mar 2012, Israel Museum, Jerusalem
Talk / "Synthetic Futures", Pforzheim Business School, Germany
Featured / Tasmeem Doha Design Conference, Qatar
Featured / Stylus Vision Thread, 8/August/2011
Talk / Fraunhofer Institut 'Attract Group' in Stuttgart, Germany
Featured / Core 77, July 2011
Published / Design Ex-Muros (book in progress), Laura van Uitert, Ed Annink, Hans Mayer Aichen
Exhibition / Work in Progress 2011, Royal College of Art, London

 Overview   A heart scaffold and its parts  
 Initial illustration   Silk worm manufacturing 
 Initial illustration   Silk worm manufacturing