David Benqué is a critical designer who lives and works in London. He studied Design Interactions at the Royal College of Art in London between 2008 and 2010. ‘Acoustic Botany’, which will be on display in the exhibition Alter Nature: We Can (21.11.2010-13.03.2011) started as a college project and was developed further for this exhibition. In this project, Benqué explores the possibilities of manipulating flowers and plants through a combination of traditional techniques, genetic engineering and synthetic biology, with the aim of having them produce music.
In his own words:
The debate around Genetic Engineering is currently centred around vital issues such as food, healthcare and the environment. However, we have been shaping nature for thousands of years, not only to suit our needs, but our most irrational desires. Beautiful flowers, mind-altering weeds and crabs shaped like human faces all thrive on these desires, giving them an evolutionary advantage. By presenting a fantastical acoustic garden, a controlled ecosystem of entertainment, I aim to explore our cultural and aesthetic relationship to nature, and to question its future in the age of Synthetic Biology. – David Benqué