Synthetic Biology for Creatives

January 8, 2022

January 9, 2022

10:00 am To 1:00 pm

132 32nd Street #108, Brooklyn, NY 11232

$105 - $210

Event Description

Explore how humans can collaborate with nature through synthetic biology and get creative with your new microbial collaborators!

2-part class:

Saturday, January 8, 10:00am – `1:00pm EDT

Sunday, January 9, 10:00am – 1 :00pm EDT

The emerging multidisciplinary field of synthetic biology promises to be infinitely transformative; to problem solve in the realms of agriculture, medicine, manufacturing, and beyond. From new types of vaccines, to hornless cattle, to fabric made from spider silk, synthetic biology is focused on the notion of engineering life to collaborate productively with humans.

As exciting as these innovations are, it often seems abstract and unclear how to get started. So how do we begin to understand synbio–and how it can be used–in a manner that cuts through jargon and makes it relatable? How can everyone (especially those of us who are not biodesigners or bioengineers) participate? And as a human, what does it mean to design collaboratively with microbes?

We’ll look at some existing and some imagined applications, and consider how the development and implementation of these applications could impact the world we live in. We’ll also tinker with synbio in the lab by using living bacteria to experiment. No biology experience necessary, apart from curiosity and a creative spirit!

In this workshop, you will:

  • Learn about existing and potential applications of synthetic biology
  • Consider the various ethical implications of this emerging technology
  • Experiment with living bacteria

Image credit:

Unicorn Mosaic by SXSW participants and fluorescent E.coli bacteria, 2013

View the mosaic and individual plates!

COVID-19 Safety Notice: In accordance with NYC regulations, participants must show proof of vaccination or recent negative test (we recommend using the Excelsior Pass). This is a socially-distanced event. Masks are required to be worn for the duration of the event. If you are feeling unwell or suspect that you have been exposed to COVID-19, please do not attend. You can find a list of symptoms and a self-checker tool on the CDC website. Upon entry, guests are required to fill out our COVID-19 health screening form, and show a vaccination card or negative test result. Given the rapidly changing circumstances surrounding the pandemic, please note that terms of this event are subject to change, and we will update you ASAP.

Meet the Instructor

Karen Ingram (she/her/hers) is an independent creative director who specializes in science communications. She has a special interest in synthetic biology and is a co-author of “BioBuilder: Synthetic Biology in the Lab” (O’Reilly, English 2016, Japanese 2018, Russian 2019). Karen is an emerging technology fellow at Stanford’s, working with the Teaching and Learning Team and the K-12 lab to design communication tools for Synthetic Biology. Learn more about Karen and her work at and You can also find her on Twitter & Instagram at @krening.


Genspace NYC

About the Organizers

Genspace is the world’s first community biology lab—a place where anyone can learn and work on biotechnology.

Visited 14 times, 2 Visits today