Design Engineering
Showcase 2020


Global Innovation Design
Dr Weston Baxter
Rethinking Resources for a Finite Planet

This Bio-installation piece belongs one of the scenarios in Ecotopia, a fictional economic reality.Ecotopia sets the time in a pragmatic future with two main world rules that are different from the world we occupy. In this world, a truly sustainable economy is functioning within the limits of our natural capital. Ecotopia disciplined the usage of natural resources at average bio-capacity. Therefore, there is a fixed amount of bio-capacity everyone has according to the planet each year, a parallel bio-credit system limiting resource usage for each individual.

 — Ecotopia


The scenarios depicted in the Ecotopia are not forecasts for what may or may not happen to this disciplined economic situation but examples from an infinite number of possible scenarios.

In this scenario, (Microbial Economy) the new economic discipline has significantly affected the world. Environmental- progressives are now turning to synthetic bio-material for local manufacturing. They embrace synthetic biology as the tool for improving their lifestyle, lowering their resource consumption by growing their own inputs of materials.


In this microbial economy, living engineering is possible. Engineered microbes can turn simple ingredients such as water and sugar into materials with various mechanical properties. In addition, microbial material presents a true cradle to cradle manufacturing norm with near a hundred percent recycling rate. The aim of presenting this scenario serves two purposes. First, to provoke people if this is the manufacturing norm, the future should like if we want a truly sustainable plant? Second, shift the discussion of wealth creation from depleting natural resources to overlooked lifeforms.

 — Ecotopia


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