David Benqué
Acoustic Botany


Lab Testing Rig: Factors like tension and temperature are modulated to fine tune the sound.

String-Nut and bugs engineered to chew in rhythm.

All content © 2010 Royal College of Art

The debate around Genetic Engineering is currently centred around vital issues such as food, healthcare and the environment. However, we have been shaping nature for thousands of years, not only to suit our needs, but our most irrational desires. Beautiful flowers, mind altering weeds and crabs shaped like human faces all thrive on these desires, giving them an evolutionary advantage. By presenting a fantastical acoustic garden, a controlled ecosystem of entertainment, I aim to explore our cultural and aesthetic relationship to nature, and to question its future in the age of Synthetic Biology.


Project Credits
Scientific Advisors:
- Christina Agapakis, PhD Candidate, Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Harvard University. Oscillator
- Kirsten Jensen, Research Associate and James Chapell, PhD Candidate, Macromolecular Structure and Function Research Group, Division of Molecular Biosciences, Imperial College London

Thanks to: Tommaso Lanza, Tim Olden, Emily Hayes, James Brown and PJ Steiner at the Haseloff Lab, Cambridge

Other projects by David Benqué: