Tinkering with the Genetic Code: Speculative Design & Gene-Editing Technologies

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Ellery Studio

Glogauer Str. 19, HH, 4th Floor, Berlin · 10999

How to find us

Ellery Studio is located through the courtyard (in the hinterhaus) on the 4th floor. There is an elevator and the space is accessible for wheelchairs. Please be respectful of our neighbors when entering and exiting the building.

Location image of event venue


Join us for a presentation that looks at speculative design as a tool for understanding new technologies and exploring their ethical implications.


The technology CRISPR/Cas9 can be used to edit genes within organisms. It allows for fast and precise applications that cut, alter, and repair genes in all living entities, including humans.

It could help cure for some of the most fatal diseases of our time, with the full implications of the technology unknown, it raises a number of ethical and societal concerns. What happens when we can remix our own genetic code?

Emilia Tikka`s work aims to question the human desires and dreams driving current biotechnological innovations in a scheme of human enhancement. She asks, how will this technology affect in our everyday lives in the future? What kind of futures would be desirable?

Her philosophical-speculative design works address the social dimensions of prolonged lifespans and brain chemistry enhancement—questions that underlie significant contemporary bioethical debates and what it means to be human.


Emilia Tikka is a designer and researcher. She is the first Artist in Residence at Max-Delbrück-Center for Molecular Medicine (in partnership with STATE), where she explores the cultural and philosophical dimensions of biotechnologies like synthetic biology and the gene editing technology CRISPR-cas9. Her methods of research vary from designing objects, concepts, and fictions to writing and hands-on laboratory experiments.

She has presented her work at institutions like ARS Electronica, Västerås Art Museum, EMMA Contemporary Art Museum, State Studio, and Helsinki Technical Museum. Her recent film project, Eudaimonia, has been selected for international film festivals and was a finalist for the European Cinematography Awards.


The event is free of charge. Snacks and beverages will be provided (w/ a recommended donation for beers).


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