The idea of synthetic biology is to engineer modular genetic components that can be snapped together like Tinkertoys to create new organisms that don't exist in nature. Inspired by this incredible concept, designers Sascha Pohflepp and Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg developed an imaginary design for a futuristic herbicide sprayer, constructed from engineered plant parts, that would "protect delicate engineered horticultural machines from older nature." From their designs, Sion Ap Tomos created antique-looking botanical illustrations of the various components. Top left, "Growth Assembly"; top right, "Herbicide Gourd." A video about the project is after the jump...
From the Growth Assembly project statement:
After the cost of energy had made global shipping of raw materials and packaged goods unimaginable, only the rich could afford traditional, mass-produced commodities. Synthetic biology enabled us to harness our natural environment for the production of things. Coded into the DNA of a plant, product parts grow within the supporting system of the plant's structure. When fully developed, they are stripped like a walnut from its shell or corn from its husk, ready for assembly."Growth Assembly" (Thanks, Mathias Crawford!)
David Pescovitz is Boing Boing's co-editor/managing partner. He's also a research director at Institute for the Future. On Instagram, he's @pesco.