Project: Design fiction, the construction of publics – Iteration-1.1 – Discovering

Next steps of the project here 0. Hypothesis, 1.2 Defining & Developing, 1.3 Delivering, 1.4 Experiment & Feedbacks.

Design fiction for geneticists.

I’ve been commissioned by the head of a research department at INRA (Institut National de Recherche en Agronomie) to provide design artefacts that help scientists take new perspectives on their work. From the client side, the aim is also to discuss social, cultural, economical, juridical, ethical (etc.) implications of these researches and to spark discussions. From our side, the aim is to allow this project to circulate along different publics (mediation spaces, audiences, purposes).
Our hypothesis is that the efficiency and impact of design fiction’s generated discussions would be greater if its public would be constructed bottom-up, based on participants recommendations. At least, it is a first way to formulate it.

The main topic is: “Challenges and Opportunities of the BigData for Predictive Biology”. In clear, how does massive statistics turns diagnostics into prognostics – based an two kinds of datas: DNA sequencing and people & things’ data in general.
The targets are scientists and practicians from the fields of medicine and agronomy (plant and animals). Mathematicians, bio-informaticians, statisticians, etc. might be part of the target later in the project.
The deliverable is a series of scenarios materialising relevant problematics/controversies in the field, presented as a “solo poster session” aside Les journées One Health Îles-de-France‘s one day conference on November 28th 2014.

Find more details bellow (As the client is french, lot of the content is not in English. For more details contact maxmollon[at]gmail[dot]com).

The brief given to me.

“Pour la conférence suivante, il est possible qu’un doctorant en Design nous propose un objet de représentation de l’impact du big data en biologie afin de voir comment l’objet cristallise des idées, en provoque de nouvelles, et comment les discussions s’embrayent atour de ça.” (extracted from an email sent by the client to collaborators)

Find the text announcing the conference OneHealth here.

In order to reframe the brief I first went through a “discovering” phase where I explored different kind of information: basic info given by the client, documents overviews on the topic; vulgarisation of the topic; very precise details (e.g. scientific papers); and general inspiration. Find below some preview of them.



(Read Micheal Jordan on BigData here)


Links referenced by these images (and a some additional ones):

Screenshot 2014-12-11 16.00.55 Lack of skilled people – McKinsey

04-inspirations-2 04-inspirations-3 04-inspirations-4
This last 4 pictures  represent a the length of the ACTG sequence collected and printed in a book for our shortest chromosome (the n°21), materialising how much big is the paradigm of big data.
For more on this ehibition: (PDF leaflet)

2014.10.11-rencontres-2 2014.10.11-rencontres
Most of the precise and useful content were collected during interviews I made in Paris and Lausanne (e.g. A team working on the intestinal microbiot; the director of a medicine university; a researcher and veterinary; a computer scientist; a machine learning PhD student; a geneticist PhD student; a responsible of french cooperatives for meat production; “l’eprouvette” public platform for mediating science issues in Lausanne; and a lot of more people informally.

Here are a list of more links to dig into this topic:

Genomic & data

Browser d’ADN aperçu
Browser d’ADN
Pleins de data
Adn d’Ebola
Encyclopedie d’éléments d’ADN
Graph d’ADN séquencé
Q&A website for Sequencing
Mini séquenceur ADN (taille de poche)

Minion sequencer
Microfluidics and a video
It’s pretty likely that any woman who has been pregnant is a chimera
Data & society
Big data against you
Data VS politics
BigData Analysis Machine learning
Quantified self: Mother

Gouvernance Algorithmique – And this and This
The Automatic society Bernard Stiegler

Data & Analysis
Data mining
Anti data mining
Sequencing industry and this, DnaVision
BIGdata on IEEE
Data land a design fiction from Ian Bogost

Genomics & society
Conf michel Serres
Seminaire sur le transhumanisme
HGP Human Genome Project
Redesign testing machines
Future testing machines
Gene, determinism:

Future of Health

D4D lien de Remy
2030 public health report
Other Medical innovations
Operating room

Future of health
IBM health future:
Micorosft health future:

Prediction & probability
Fail prediction
Outil pour prédire le futur
Future of health
technos encore×1920/s_v/Silver—ENvisioning-Technology.jpg

Design fiction
Cohen & Van Balen Pigeon/savon
Quantified Self chez Disney
Design fiction catalogue +
MOMA violence
Cards game
un mec qui mélange tout
Dunne talk
ScieFie transform society
Nova on the same topic
idées: What if robots could draw portrait according to DNA expression simulation + statistics based on randomness + parents environment evaluation (and astrology?) ?

More links not ordered–1305

Sélection d’embryon
Le design d’enfant
Machines assisted clinical decisions
Donneur d’ovul
Art et techno sciences
Emission reproduction et marchandisation du vivant

Créationniste qui a changé d’avis

(Pas design fiction) Design VS science


A project from Auger-Loizeay on speculation, prediction and big data (but not on biology).


Real Prediction Machines (Auger-Loizeau with Alan Murray and Subramanian Ramamoorthy)
(see project description below)

New project to be exhibited at the Crafts Council London this september:
Modern day fortune-telling is far-removed from the mystical readings of natural and celestial phenomena it once was.
Today it is all about data.
Emerging from research into artificial intelligence and cybernetics post-WW2 and increasingly made possible by an exponential growth of available data via digital networks and sophisticated sensors, prediction is fast becoming a life-changing science. The institutions of finance, such as trading, insurance and gambling are already inexorably linked to prediction algorithms. More recently we have seen a shift into online retail – for example has just gained a patent for ‘anticipatory shipping,’ this initiates the delivery process before the customer has clicked the purchase button. All of these systems routinely use data provided by people going about their normal (and sometimes private) business.
This project explores how data and algorithms could be reclaimed for personal use – individuals can select a specific event to be predicted such as a domestic argument; the likelihood of ones own death or the chances of a meteor strike. A service provider then determines the necessary data/sensory inputs required for an algorithm to predict the event. The output from the algorithm controls a visual display on the prediction machine, informing the owner if the chosen event is approaching, receding or impending.

And here is another design fiction project from Ian bogost about quantified seld at Disney Land
Data land a design fiction from Ian Bogost
dataland1 dataland2 dataland3

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