Synthetic Ecologies Lab

Synthetic Ecologies Lab

Serpentine Galleries has just launched their Synthetic Ecologies Lab, led by designer and researcher Yasaman Sheri. Their aim is to support artists in the emerging field of biological technologies and ecology. This is done by showcasing existing art-science collaborations as well as exploring the tools for collaboration in new artistic engagements with the sciences. It also allows for the strengthening of the field through art’s critical inquiry and intervention.

Ada Sokol is a 3D artist who was commissioned by the lab. She is a 3D artist who creates photorealistic renders, often of living creatures. Her renders show almost microscopic closeups of the animal’s features, but these are carefully created to emphasise the clean atmosphere of medical scenery and biotech laboratories.


Designers are increasingly using biological mediums to create designs, and start conversations. This includes ecological awareness, showcasing techno-biological futures, and using living systems as a design tool. The Synthetic Ecologies Lab aims to allow scientists, artists and designers to use their voices in a time where biotechnologies are rapidly advancing and are giving us opportunities to become more sustainable and ethical, at all levels. The lab not only researches these technologies but allows people to learn more and be part of the conversation. This is possible through talks, interviews, articles, videos, interviews and exhibitions, such as Cambio by Formafantasma. 


The Synthetic Ecologies Lab’s research currently investigates:

– Instruments, tools & platforms that support artistic practice in life sciences

– Emerging zones of inquiry in contemporary biotechnology

– Ecological art & microbial aesthetics

– Poetics of sensing & perception beyond human scale

– Aesthetics of new nature

– Translation models for critical & cultural narratives to enter scientific spaces

– Reframing of science & biological technologies in cultural and popular discourse



Yasaman Sheri

Yasaman Sheri is a designer and researcher who works with emerging biotechnologies to explore futures. As well as working with living things, her research focuses on machines and human interactions. Developing ideas around synthetic sensing, perception systems and augmentation of body, objects and ecologies. Yasaman is currently the Principal Investigator of the Synthetic Ecologies Lab at Serpentine Galleries R&D. As well as teaching, she mentors artists exploring emerging technologies and creative science at New Inc. As a resident designer at the synthetic biology company Ginkgo Bioworks, she investigated biological sensors of flavour and olfaction. Throughout her work Yasaman has aimed to build a common language in order to allow collaboration to happen. By bringing different fields together we are able to solve problems and create systems and products to improve issues, such as climate change. This was one of the main reasons for creating the lab. To bring different people with specialised knowledge together. While also giving those who are creating a platform, and teaching others new to the field, or who are just interested in it.


Read Interview

Read More About Yasaman’s Work at Ginkgo


New Inc
Interaction Design Association