Students Gather at the Museum of Modern Art to Compete in the Biodesign Challenge

2019 Summit Image FINAL.jpeg

Teams partnered with artists, designers, and scientists to demonstrate how biotech can address global challenges.

NEW YORK CITY, June 20-21, 2019
– Students from across nine countries are gathering at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) and Parsons School of Design on June 20-21 for the Biodesign Challenge Summit to showcase projects that use biotechnology to address global challenges.

Selected from over 100 teams at 36 universities and high schools, the finalists will present before leaders in art, design, and biotechnology, and an audience of 400 over two days. Teams will showcase new visions for biotechnology’s use in food, medicine, materials, fashion, architecture and many more fields.

Participants will compete for awards including the grand prize—the Glass Microbe. Sponsored prizes include the Stella McCartney Sustainable Fashion Award sponsored by fashion brand Stella McCartney, and the ORTA Award for Bioinspired Textiles Processes sponsored by global denim manufacturer ORTA.

Speakers include Paola Antonelli (Senior Curator at MoMA), Matilda McQuaid (Deputy Director of Curatorial at the Cooper Hewitt Museum of Design), Antonio Regalado (senior editor, MIT Technology Review), Sarah Richardson (CEO of MicroByre), Natsai Audrey Chieza (founder of Faber Futures), and many more.

Finalist projects will be showcased at Life in Reply, a gallery exhibition at Parsons School of Design Making Center, opening on June 20 at 7:00pm. Members of the public are welcome to attend the reception and can find more information here.

The Biodesign Challenge (BDC) is an international student competition and educational program that partners high school and university students with artists, designers, and scientists to imagine and sometimes create the future of biotechnology. During the semester-long program, students build bold and feasible projects that use biotechnology to address pressing issues or to critique biotechnology’s impact on society.

BDC has already made impacts on students, and the worlds of art, design, and industry. BDC alumni have raised more than $2 million in backing for companies developed from their designs. Projects have also exhibited at museums, galleries and design festivals internationally, including Dutch Design Week, NYCxDesign, London Design Festival, among others.

For more information on attending the BDC Summit and Exhibition at Parsons School of Design and MoMA, visit

Press Contact
Jordyn Lee

BDC Summit Schedule:

Thursday, June 20 | Summit Day 1 | 8:30am – 6:00pm


Parsons School of Design
Tishman Auditorium
63 5th Avenue
New York, NY 10003


  • 8:30am - Registration

  • 9:00am - Welcome Address / Speaker (Jane Pirone)

  • 10:00am - Student Team Presentations

  • 12:10pm - Lunch

  • 1:10pm - Speaker Panel Discussion

  • 2:00pm - Special Prize Student Team Presentations

  • 2:50pm - Student Team Presentations

  • 4:00pm - Speaker (Sarah Richardson)

  • 4:40pm - Student Team Presentations

  • 5:40pm - Close

Thursday, June 20 | Life in Reply Reception and Gallery Exhibition | 7:00pm – 9:00pm


Parsons School of Design
The Sheila C. Johnson Design Center
66 Fifth Avenue, 2nd Floor
New York, NY 10011

Friday, June 21 | Summit Day 2 | 8:30am – 6:00pm


Museum of Modern Art
Titus 1 Theater
11 West 53rd Street
New York, NY 10019


  • 8:30am - Registration

  • 9:00am - Finalist Announcement

  • 9:10am - Special Words / Speaker (Paola Antonelli/Natsai Audrey Chieza)

  • 9:50am - Student Team Presentations

  • 1:00pm - Lunch

  • 2:20pm - Speaker (Antonio Regalado)

  • 2:50pm - Special Prize Student Team Presentations

  • 3:30pm - Speaker Panel Discussion

  • 4:30pm - Awards

  • 5:00pm - Photos/Close


Alex Kisielewski