The Biodesign Challenge course in the Department of Design at UC Davis has been recognized by Core77, a leading industrial design publication, as a Runner Up for the Design Education Initiative Award as part of their 2019 Design Awards.
The course, taught by Christina Cogdell (Department of Design) and Marc Facciotti (Biomedical Engineering), encourages design, bioscience, and engineering students to work together in teams to compete in the international Biodesign Challenge. Each team consisted of four students, including at least one designer, bioscientist, and engineer.
The competition aims to bring together biology, biotechnology and synthetic biology disciplines to broaden art and design students’ approaches to sustainable design. Students were able to utilize the TEAM Lab, based in the Biomedical Engineering department, to help bring their ideas to life.
One of the highlights of the course was Team Sorbit’s bacterial cellulose diaper (The Sorbit Diaper) consisting of a hydrophobic exterior and a bacterial cellulose aerogel core which ended up being 32% more absorbent than the material currently used in conventional diapers.
Team Sorbit was selected to showcase their project at the Biodesign Challenge Summit at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City where they took home the award for Runner Up as well as the award for Outstanding Science.
Cogdell, who is also the Chair of the UC Davis Design Department, said co-teaching the course was “the most rewarding teaching experience” she has had and believes that interdisciplinary sustainable biodesign innovation is a necessary process within academia as well as in industry.
Read more about the Core77 Design Awards.