Finalist teams from nine universities across the United States converged at the Biodesign Challenge Summit at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City on June 23rd to showcase their projects and compete for the Glass Microbe.

The teams, chosen from more than 130 participating students, showcased projects at MoMA's Celeste Bartos Theater during the daylong summit. 


Overall Winner 

Fashion Institute of Technology

ALGIKNIT: Tessa Callaghan, Gian Cui, Aleksandra Gosiewski, Aaron Nesser, Theanne Schiros, Asta Skocir 



School of Visual Arts

MYOTOMATO: Andrew Cziraki, Victor Taboada, Darya Warner & John Wells

Autodesk Prize for Best Visualization

Southern California Institute of Architecture

MUTUA: Mun Yi Cheng, Caleb Fisher, Fangyuan Hu, Brendan Ho, Ryan Odom, Anthony Stoffella & Xiangtia Sun



Hundreds of visitors joined us for OUR BIOTECH FUTURE(S), and exhibition of student projects from the 2016 Biodesign Challenge. The student projects from nine university teams were on display at School of Visual Arts in New York City.

The projects were developed throughout 2016 by collaborations between students, biologists, artists, and designers. The exhibited pieces explored the possible ways biotechnology may reshape our lives, environment, and very understanding of the natural world.

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Paola Antonelli

Paola Antonelli is senior curator in the department of architecture and design of the Museum of Modern Art, where she has worked since 1994. She is the recipient of a Master’s degree in Architecture from the Polytechnic of Milan in 1990. She is a Senior Fellow with the Royal College of Art, and received an Honorary Doctorate in Design from Kingston University, and from the Art Center College of Design. She also earned the “Design Mind” Smithsonian Institution’s National Design Award in October 2006, and in 2007 she was named one of the 25 most incisive design visionaries by Time Magazine.


Suzanne Lee

Suzanne Lee is the founder and CEO of Biofabricate, a platform nurturing collaboration for design and biology to grow the future of sustainable materials for consumer products. Biofabrication is highly disruptive new technologies enabling design to intersect with the building blocks of life itself. For the last five years, Lee has been the chief creative officer of Modern Meadow, a New York-based biotech startup growing collagen to manufacture animal-free bioleather materials.



Christina Agapakis
Creative Director, Ginkgo Bioworks

Stefani Bardin
Faculty, Interactive Telecommunications Program, NYU; Food + Design, Parsons.

Andrew Hessel
Distinguished Researcher, Autodesk

Ellen Jorgensen
Executive Director, Genspace

Nancy J Kelley
Nancy J Kelley + Associates

Daniel Kevles
Stanley Woodward Professor Emeritus of History, History of Medicine & American Studies, Yale University 


Nicole Miller-Struttmann
Assistant Professor of Biology, SUNY Old Westbury  

Alondra Nelson,
Dean of Social Science and Professor of Sociology and Gender Studies, Columbia University

Michael Solana
Vice President, Founders Fund 

Artist and Art Director for the MIT Media Lab Design Fiction Group

Harris Wang
Assistant Professor of Pathology and Cell Biology, Columbia University


Participating Schools

  • Carnegie Mellon University (CMU)

  • Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) 

  • Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA)

  • New York University Gallatin School (NYU) 

  • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)

  • Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc)

  • School of Art Institute Chicago (SAIC)

  • School of Visual Arts (SVA)

  • University of Pennsylvania