Over two days, finalist teams showcased projects before esteemed judges from academia, the arts, and industry to compete for prizes, including the Glass Microbe. Teams were chosen from 500+ students from nine countries who worked throughout the academic year to develop their visions for the future of biotech.

On June 20th and 21st, 37 teams from around the world gathered at the Museum of Modern Art and Parsons School of Design for the BDC Summit—an event that brings together finalist teams with leading voices in art, design, and biology. 

Congrats to our 2019 participants!



Overall Winner

Universidad de los Andes, Colombia

PSEUDOFREEZE: Juan Angulo, Laura Calderón, Paola Camacho, Isabel Pulido


Runner Up

Nest Makerspace

: Anne Hu, Trisha Sathish, Emily Takara


Outstanding Presentation

University of Technology, Sydney, Australia

DEATH ON MARS: Bronwyn Hallis, Amanda Han, Charles Yuncken


Outstanding Science

National Research University
Higher School of Economics, Moscow

MYCOKARST: Anna Budnikova


Outstanding Field Research

Nest Makerspace

GIY BIO BUDDIES: Anne Hu, Trisha Sathish, Emily Takara


Outstanding Social Critique

California Institute of the Arts

Marley E. Townsend


ORTA Prize for Bioinspired Textiles Processes

RMIT University, Australia

ENZER: Nicole Esquieres, Jacky Fang, Matthew Modica, Kristine O'Loughlin, Georga Stewart

Stella McCartney Prize for Sustainable Fashion

Fashion Institute of Technology

FLORA FUR: Isabella Bruski, Noah Silva


Outstanding Instructor

Corinne Okada Takara
Nest Makerspace



Over 400 guests joined us for the opening of LIFE IN REPLY, an exhibition of student projects from Biodesign Challenge 2019. The title attempts to frame biotechnology from the perspective of other-than-human systems students envisioned as part of the Challenge. Student projects portray materials, garments, foods, and more created from the relationships they’ve developed with other species.

The 37 projects were chosen from 100+ developed throughout 2019 by university and high school students working with artists, designers, and scientists to explore the many possible ways biotechnology reconfigures humanity’s relationship with the living world.

2019 Gallery Show Image 5.jpg







Christina Agapakis Ph.D.
Creative Director, Ginkgo Bioworks

Julia Buntaine Hoel 
Founding Director and Editor-in-Chief, SciArt Center and Magazine

Katayoun Chamany 
Chair and Mohn Family Professor of Natural Sciences and Mathematics;
Director of the University Labs at The New School

Natsai Audrey Chieza 
Founder and Director, Faber Futures

Carrie Cizauskas, DVM, Ph.D. 
Manager of Publishing and Academic Relations, Zymergen, Inc.

Victoria Colangelo
Senior Vice President, MANA

Alison Cutlan 
Founder, Cutlan Lab and Studio

Michelle Millar Fisher 
Louis C. Madeira IV Assistant Curator of European Decorative Arts and Design,
Philadelphia Museum of Art

Michael J. Flanagan, Ph.D. 
Founder and CEO, FlanaGen LLC

Laura Forlano 
Associate Professor of Design, The Institute of Design;
Affiliated Faculty in the College of Architecture, The Illinois Institute of Technology

Paul Freemont 
Co-founder and Co-Director,
National UK Innovation and Knowledge Centre for Synthetic Biology

Danya Glabau, Ph.D
Founder of Implosion Labs, LLC

Christine Gould 
Founder, Thought For Food (TFF) Foundation

Karen Hogan 
CEO and Cofounder, Biorealize, Inc.

Ryan Hoover
Artist, Researcher, and Professor of Digital and Biological Fabrication,
Maryland Institute College of Art

Karen Ingram 
Creative Director, Designer, and Co-Author, Biobuilder: Synthetic Biology in the Lab

Gillian Jarvis
Director of Design, Twist Bioscience

Nancy J Kelley
President and CEO, Nancy J Kelley + Associates

Grace Knight
Industrial Designer, Ecovative

David Sun Kong, Ph.D.
Synthetic Biologist and Director, MIT Media Lab's Community Biotechnology Initiative

Todd Kuiken, Ph.D.
Senior Research Scholar, North Carolina State University

Ani Liu
Lecturer in Architecture, Harvard University Graduate School of Design

Margaret MacDonald, Ph.D.
Research chemist for the US Army Futures Command;
part-time faculty at Maryland Institute College of Art

Laura Maher 
Program Manager, Siegel Family Endowment

Melissa Marra-Alvarez
Curator of Education and Research, The Museum at FIT


Leslie Mitchell
Postdoctoral Fellow, Jef Boeke Lab at NYU Langone

Elliott Montgomery
Assistant Professor, Strategic Design, Parsons School of Design;
Co-Founder of The Extrapolation Factory

William Myers 
Curator, Teacher, and Author of Biodesign

Naomi Nakayama 
Royal Society University Research Fellow, University of Edinburgh

Ann Neumann 
Director of Galleries, MIT Museum

Hemai Parthasarathy 
CSO and Partner, Breakout Ventures

Matteo Padovani
Innovation Designer, adidas Group

Jeanne Pfordresher
Adjunct Associate of Pratt Institute Industrial Design, Partner Hybrid Product Design

Jane Pirone
Associate Professor of Communication Design
& Technology and Dean of the School of Design Strategies,
Parsons School of Design

Sukanya Punthambaker, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Genetics, Harvard Medical School

Fiona Raby
Dunne & Raby

Antonio Regalado
Senior Editor, MIT Technology Review

Tarah Rhoda
Manager, SVA Bio Art Laboratory, School of Visual Arts

Sarah Richardson
CEO, MicroByre

Simone Ross
Cofounder and Chief Program Officer, Techonomy Media

Andrew Scarpelli
Assistant Professor, National Louis University

Theanne Schiros, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Science and Sustainability, FIT

Anja Scholze, Ph.D.
Program Director for Biology + Design, The Tech Museum of Innovation

Cecilia Takayama
Director of the Materials Innovation Lab, Kering

Orkan Telhan, Ph.D.
Co-founder and Chief Design Office, Biorealize, Inc.
& Associate Professor of Fine Arts, University of Pennsylvania

Danielle Trofe 
Founder, Danielle Trofe Design

Sedef Uncu Aki 
Director of R&D and Planning and Operations, ORTA

Harris Wang, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Systems Biology, Columbia

Jake Wintermute
Head Teacher and Organizer,

Jiwon Woo
CEO and Creative Director, hypha design.

Sophie Zaaijer, Ph.D.
Runway Startup Postdoc, Cornell Tech



Debra Guo
Environmental Sustainability Manager, Stella McCartney

Sedef Uncu Aki 
Director of R&D and Planning and Operations, ORTA



  • NYU Tandon School of Engineering


  • Parsons School of Design

  • RMIT University

  • Rutgers

  • Universidad de los Andes

  • Universidad del Istmo

  • The University of British Columbia

  • UC Davis

  • University of Cincinnati

  • University of Michigan

  • University of New Mexico

  • University of Pennsylvania

  • University of Sydney

  • University of Technology, Sydney

  • University of Toledo

  • Zurich University of the Arts

  • Ball State University

  • California College of the Arts

  • California Institute of the Arts

  • The City College of New York

  • Columbia University

  • Delft University of Technology

  • Emily Carr University of Art + Design

  • Fashion Institute of Technology

  • Grace Church School

  • Harvard University

  • Higher School of Economics, Moscow

  • Kean University

  • Keio University

  • Massachusetts College of Art and Design

  • McGill University

  • The Nest

  • New Design High School