WHAT IF...We could redesign human teeth to encourage vegetarianism?

Susana Soares

Recent research into the effects of eating meat on global warming estimated that meat production accounts for nearly a fifth of gas emissions. Recently the UN appealed for a radical shift in diet, arguing that it wouldn't only be good for our health, but for the planet in general.  Teeth are an essential tool for nutrition - their shape is related to diet. Herbivore animals, for example, have developed teeth that reflect their feeding preferences and facilitate the consumption of plant material.
Could our teeth structure be replaced to encourage a more sustainable dietary shift?

WHAT IF... Insects could help us diagnose illness?

BEE'S :: 2007-2009
Susana Soares

Scientific research has demonstrated that bees have an extraordinarily acute sense of smell. They can be trained within minutes, using Pavlov's reflex, to perform a health check by detecting a specific odour of people's breath.
This project consists of a series of alternative diagnostic tools that use bees to accurately diagnose a vast variety of diseases at an early stage. The project aims to build on current technological research, using design to translate the outcome into systems and objects that people can understand and use in their daily lives.

What if ? :: Opening 8.10.09


What if ?

WHAT IF... at Science Gallery - Dublin, Ireland

08.10.09 - 13.12.09.

The exhibition has been curated by London based designers Anthony Dunne and Fiona Raby and features a range of works by designers who have explored future form, future function and future Fictions.

Lapse in time :: Bee's and Am i attractive?

Sociedade Nacional de Belas Artes :: Lisboa 
13.09.09 - 08.11.09

Bee's :: 2007-2009  

Am i attractive? :: 2009
experiment from Why me? exhibit :: 
Collaborators UK - Rothamsted Research (Dr. James Logan & James Cook) 
PT - CMDT.LA/Unidade de Malária/IHMT


Special thanks to:
Virgílio E. do Rosário - Director da Unidade de Malária
Luís Távora Tavira - Coordenador do CMDT.LA
Henrique Silveira - Imunidade Inata do Mosquito Vector
João Pinto - Entomologia Molecular
Ana Paula Arez - Dinâmica de Transmissão e Epidemiologia Molecular
Ana Catarina Alves - Responsável pelo Insectário

EXD :: Lapse in time

Design between elasticity and social - cultural responsibility

" Lapse in Time spotlights young designers who have chosen the opposite route, uncompromising designers whose work is grounded on highly individual, in-depth thinking and boundary-defying creative elasticity. Pursuing innovation and cutting-edge experimentation at the crossroads of design, cognitive sciences, environmental concerns and intercultural exchange, they strive towards a change in paradigm, one that is also temporal. Though unique in vision and attitude, they share a common trait: that of operating on a wholly different “lapse of time”. They choose slow-evolving projects over consumerist rush, making fewer but better, more relevant, products."
Hans Maier-Aichen Curator of Lapse in time


STATE OF THE ARTS :: 10.09.09 ::18:00-19:00

Debate about Lapse in Time exhibition

The design of the future is going to be fabulous, fury, furious and fun. It will be a tool for love, a superhero ready to do battle for good and for evil. It will ask why it exists and what its purpose in life is. It will stick its middle finger up, run through the woods naked, and save the world.
Jerszy Seymour

EXD 09 :: It's about time

ExperimentaDesign is an international Biennale dedicated to design, architecture and creativity.
It's about time is the theme of the 5th edition of EXD.

Opening week:

"Am i attractive?" at Pestival 2009

An experiment from the "Why me?" exhibit from Rothamsted Research.

PESTIVAL :: Southbank Centre London :: September 2009
Celebrating insects in art, and the art of being an insect.

Dr. James Logan, Rothamsted Research.

Dr. James Logan and Mr. James Cook - Rothamsted Research Scientists
Susana Soares - Designer
Mónica Santos – Filmmaker

Andrew Forkes – Designer
Chris Merridan – Electronic engineer

"Am i attractive ?" :: 2009

In collaboration with Dr. James Logan team from Rothamsted Research, UK.

The concept for Why me object is that people find out, in a playful way, if their odour is attractive or unattractive to mosquitoes.

Two people place their hands in opposite sides of the object and in an average of 90 seconds the insects will invariable fly towards the most attractive scent.

The aim of project was to create a tool to raise awareness for this particular research and ultimately gather volunteers to find which specific chemicals are the mosquitoes attracted to. 

Pictures from project development at Rothamsted Research, July 2009.
Courtesy of  Dr. James Logan and Mr. James Cook.

WHY ME ? Rothamsted Research

1.2 million people die each year from malaria
Why some people are more attractive to mosquitoes than others?
Could human scent provide an answer for malaria researchers?

Courtesy of Dr. James Logan :: Rothamsted Research

Dr. James Logan and his team at Rothamsted Research Laboratory have developed a new theory to explain why some people are more attractive to mosquitoes and midges than others, which might help further research into major international health problems.
People who are unattractive to biting insects mask the attractive odours chemicals within their body odour.


BEE'S :: 2007-2009

Person performing a heath check up
Face object (36*25 cm) prototype 2007; Blown handmade glass; Crisform, Portugal.

BEE’S explores how we might co-habit with natural biological systems and use their potential to increase our perceptive abilities. We have always co-existed with these systems, but their potential was unknown.
The overall project aims to create platforms to generate sustainable symbiotic links where the potential of those natural systems around us can be wisely used.

The project is based on ongoing research about insects’ phenomenal odour perception, in particular bees. They can be trained within minutes using Pavlov’s reflex to target a specific odour and their range of detection includes chemical threats, toxins and diagnosing diseases.

The first developments consist in a series of alternative diagnosis tools that use trained bees  to perform a health check up and detect diseases in someone’s breath.

The glass objects have a smaller chamber that serves as the diagnosis space and a bigger chamber where previously trained bees are kept.
People would exhale and the bees would rush into the smaller chamber if they detect something.

One of the aims is to develop collaborative relations between science and design translating the outcome into systems and objects that people can understand and use.

Person exhaling into the diagnostic chamber
Diagnostic tool 2 (26*15 cm) prototype 2007; borosilicate; Vilabo, Portugal.

Scientific research demonstrated that trained bees can detect certain diseases in a person's breath
Precise object  (22*12 cm) prototype 2007 ; borosilicate; Vilabo, Portugal.

 At the beehive - checking the bees behaviour in the diagnostic tools

Bees detect chemicals in the odorous secretion of the axilla, apocrine glands are known to contain pheromones that retain information   about a person's health that bees antennae can identify
Diagnostic tool 4 (25*16 cm) prototype 2008 ; borosilicate; Vilabo, Portugal.

Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation
Prof. Anthony Dunne and Fiona Raby (Royal College of Art, Design Interactions Department)
Dr. Mathilde Briens (Inscentinel - UK)
Monica Santos (Filmmaker)
David Perkins (Roots & Shoots - London Beekeeper Association)
Des. Sónia Durães and Glass Master Mateus (Crisform)
Mr. João Gomes (Vilabo)

Susana Soares

Bernardete Fernandes
Clarie Ducruet
Margarida Matos