“Interdisciplinary work is when people from different disciplines work together.
But antidisciplinary is something very different; it’s about working in spaces
that simply do not fit into any existing academic discipline—a specific field
of study with its own particular words, frameworks, and methods.”
–Joi Ito, MIT Media Lab
Neri Oxman, Journal of Design and Science, jods.mitpress.mit.edu
MIT Media Lab
MIT Media Lab
|REGINA FLORES MIR
Chief Science Advisor
Bees as citizen scientists.
Custom bee hives are deployed on New York City roof-tops.
Trays at the bottom of the hives allow scientists to extract bee detritus without disrupting the hive. The bees are never disturbed or hurt - they are true collaborators.
Animation by Miguel Perez
Partnering with apiarists in Brooklyn and Queens.
Bees travel about 1.5 miles from their hives, but always return, so we can see what environmental interactions they have in these neighborhoods.
Scientists collect metagenomic samples.
Metagenomics is the study of genetic material recovered directly from environmental samples. These samples are taken from the hive, bees, honey, and bee wax. The scientists then purify the samples in their lab to extract DNA.
DNA from the bee samples are
sequenced using shotgun next-generation sequencing technology.
Scientists remove all the bee DNA from the data and analyze only the remaining DNA to see what microbial life exsits in the environment in the neighborhoods.
Illustration by Miguel Perez
Taxonomical mapping by neighborhood.
The maps show the microbial "fingerprint" of each neighboorhood and can visually hightlight their unique quality.
Data visualization reveal
microbial links between neighboorhoods.
And can begin to highlight the differences to show which species are unique to a neighboorhood.
We can peer into the microbial world using a Nanotronics microscope.
How can we bring the microbial world to life to put turn the microscope onto the city?
A design aesthetic crafted from a scientific framework.
|Microbes perceive their the world through
temperature. Using a thermal camera,
videos are taken of streets in New York.
Each species of microbe thrives in its own
optimal temperature range.
Taking inspiration from computational fluid
dynamics in biological systems, flow fields
are used to model the movement of urban
microbial species. Microbes are then mapped
to the scene based on temperature.
More flow fields here.
The video is rendered on a 3D mesh to
bring depth into the scene. The absence
of color reflects that microbes do not
“see” color as humans do. Applying a
microbial depth of field, only objects
that are near can be perceived.