The impact of technology on our lives is increasing. Artificial intelligence, genetic engineering and nanotechnology are examples of emerging technologies predicted to drastically change our lives. This offers great opportunities, but also entails challenges.
For me, art and design are powerful tools to bring technologies alive that do not exist today and to make them concrete and tangible so you can really feel and experience the impact of them. I believe that we as a society should talk more often about the implications of technology. We should strive for a technology-critical society. The Baby Builder aims to raise awareness, provoke and spark debate about emerging technologies in general and genetic engineering in particular before they become reality. I think this is important in order to aim for the most humane and desirable outcome.
The Baby Builder is an interactive installation in which you can design your own child through genetic engineering. Prevent nasty genetic diseases, increase intelligence and while you’re at it, make your child extra social and empathetic right away. And how about modifying the skin tone or the sexual preferences? Some people might like this speculative scenario, others might not. Whatever your point of view may be, the Baby Builder challenges the audience to confront the ethical, societal and moral questions raised by the development of genetic engineering. Is this a future you want and where do you draw the line?
The Baby Builder has been developed in close collaboration with:
Bertrand is a social designer with a special interest in technology and science. Over the years he has learned that, to him, design is a powerful tool to speculate, question and research. His focus currently centres on emerging technologies and its ethical, social and moral challenges. He mostly works in collaboration with artists, scientists and researchers.