Ginkgo Creative Residency 2022 – Worldwide | $5000 Monthly Stipend

Deadline: 30th July, 2022. 

Ginkgo Creative Residency 2022 – Worldwide | $5000 Monthly Stipend

At Ginkgo, we explore what synthetic biology can do and what worlds it can bring about. By reading and writing DNA, we can reimagine the possibilities of living things, from bacteria that target diseases in your gut, to more sustainable foods, to the creation of bio-based materials. But solving the world’s greatest problems goes far beyond the lab. We believe that multidisciplinary thinking has the power to create new opportunities for synthetic biology and to catalyze crucial conversations about our shared futures on this planet. That’s why we’re opening up our foundry to collaboration with creative thinkers—from artists, to poets, to coders, to educators, and more—to broaden our visions of what could be possible.


“To play is to be in the world.” It is to be open to surprise, contingency, and improvisation—a critical skill for our combined future. Play might mean something different for all of us, but it will always evoke joy and learning; for many, it makes life worth living. Play allows us to experiment freely. It carves the time and space to help us imagine an alternative way of being in the world. It allows us to learn not only what is useful, but what is possible.

We believe synthetic biology has the potential to playfully disrupt traditional ways of thinking. For this year’s Ginkgo Creative Residency, we invite submissions that engage with synthetic biology through play. Can a playful application build new relations between humans and nature that cultivate comfort, joy, and dignity?

From the outside, the lab may look like a serious space where precision, efficiency, and certainty dominate, but we’ve found that when we approach science with a playful attitude, it can be vastly revealing. Take, for example, a record player that translates bacteria into hip hop beats, or an investigation into the complexity in beings previously thought to be too simple to warrant attention—revealing even further possibilities into understanding foundational principles that govern the logic of life. Taking play more literally, games are being successfully used to imagine the unimaginable, such as a world without oil, where an alternate reality game simulates the first 32 weeks of a global oil crisis.

Playing is powerful and we want to play even more. Instead of ‘working’ with biology, we want you to use your creative discipline to play with it instead. In doing so, we can reveal possibilities and solutions that nurture community, resilience, joy, and hope, and build a better world.

ELIGIBILITY – Ginkgo Creative Residency 2022

  • We want to hear from you if you are a futures-oriented practitioner of materials, processes, products, interactions or systems.
  • We welcome creative perspectives across analog, digital, and biological realms. If you find it difficult to define your practice, we get it, so don’t be afraid to apply!
  • A well-developed understanding of the intersections of design and science is essential. Experience with biology and laboratory tools and processes is not required but is advantageous depending on what you hope to achieve during your time at Ginkgo.
  • This year the residency will be hosted at Ginkgo Bioworks’ HQ in Boston, MA, USA. We will continue to monitor circumstances surrounding COVID-19, but at this time are planning on moving forward with an in-person residency.
  • You must be available to participate in the program from October 12th, 2022 to January 27th, 2023.
  • International applicants are welcome, and we will work with you to secure a visa if necessary, although we cannot offer any guarantees that it will be approved.
  • If you are shortlisted for an interview, we ask that you are available in the first half of August for a remote interview with the team and our external jurors.
  • We also feel it’s important to point out the obvious here. There’s a serious lack of diversity in our industry, and that needs to change. Our goal is to help drive that change. We hope to continue to build an industry whose culture promotes inclusion and embraces how rewarding it is to work with people from all walks of life. We welcome proposals from people of all backgrounds, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, race, age, or ability.
How can we create playful encounters in and out of the lab to reveal alternative possibilities for synthetic biology that nurture community, resilience, and hope?


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