Minjun Chen



Biological Design | Oct. 2016 - Dec. 2016 | Collaborate with Natasha Doherty


01   Artist Statement


Many of us choose to eat bacon. But at some level, this choice is influenced by our evolutionary biology. Our ancestors were drawn to bacon as a fatty, high-calorie food needed for survival. As consumers, we enjoy the taste and the smell of bacon, and we like to believe that we are free in choosing to eat it: yet as animals, it is our basic evolution that creates our desire for bacon and controls us.

Autonomy deals with the inextricable relationship between human beings and free will, with desire and consumption, but also with the great potential of biology and design coming together to form new dimensions. Autonomy aims to simulate discussion amongst audience about the philosophic ideas, such as the right of self-directing freedom as well as the effects of the material transformation and disciplines on the contemporary design.


02 Design Process


We bought eight types of bacon in the market and grocer, and cooked it all in order to isolate all the fat. The petri dishes contained isolated fat cells of bacon (the human’s favorite part of the pig), solidified in an agar and an Oil Red O indicator. The indicator turned red in the presence of lipids. We wanted to mimic how the brain responds to the stimulus of these fat cells through taste and smell, producing a positive physical and emotional reaction in the body.