I Wanna Deliver a Dolphin…
SCIENCE GALLERY DUBLIN TRINITY COLLEGE DUBLIN
I Wanna Deliver a Dolphin…
This project represents the power of speculative design to identify problems and intensify them through a well thought and delivered scenario. The project touches on the relationship of humans with other non-human animals. It starting point is already of that of otherness, being asked from a non-western, non-male perspective. The questionable idea of giving birth to a non-human engendered animal as a way to deal with human over population and non-human animal extinction is compounded with the proposition of actually eating that very same offspring. The project is well researched and does present an integrating research trajectory that without this speculative design intervention that arguably would never be explored.
I Wanna Deliver a Dolphin…
This project approaches the problem of human reproduction in an age of overcrowding, overdevelopment and environmental crisis. With potential food shortages and a population of nearly seven billion people, would a woman consider incubating and giving birth to an endangered species such as a dolphin? This project introduces the argument for giving birth to our food to satisfy our demands for nutrition and childbirth, and discusses some of the technical details of how this might be possible.2. The Brief: Summarize the problem you set out to solve. What was the context for the project, and what was the challenge posed to you?
Humans are genetically predisposed to raise children as a way of passing on their genes to the next generation. For some, the struggle to raise a child in decent conditions is becoming harder due to gross overpopulation and an increasingly strained global environment.
Would raising this animal as a child change its value so drastically that we would be unable to consume it because it would be imbued with the love of motherhood? The Maui’s dolphin has been chosen as the ideal ‘baby’ for this piece. It is one of the world’s rarest and smallest dolphins, classified critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation’s Red List of Threatened Species (version 2.3) because of the side effects of fishing activity by humans, its size (which closely matches the size of a human baby), and its high intelligence level and communication abilities.
I Wanna Deliver a Dolphin… imagines a point in the future, where humans will help this species by the advanced technology of synthetic biology. A ‘dolp-human placenta’ that allows a human female to deliver a dolphin is created, and thus humans can become a surrogate mother to endangered species. Furthermore, gourmets would be able to enjoy the luxury of eating a rare animal: an animal made by their own body, raising questions of the ownership of rare animal life, and life itself.4. The Process: Describe the rigor that informed your project. (Research, ethnography, subject matter experts, materials exploration, technology, iteration, testing, etc., as applicable.) What stakeholder interests did you consider? (Audience, business, organization, labor, manufacturing, distribution, etc., as applicable)
I talked to few doctors and scientists Dr Mark H Sullivan, Imperial College London.
Embryologist, Anastasia Mania, marine life researcher Masamichi Hayashi to know the possibility of the delivering dolphin from human female to help to make a possible scenario.
Here, this is the part of scenario.
Synthetic Dolp-human Placenta
To make it possible for a human mother to deliver a dolphin from her womb, there is a need to synthesise ‘The Dolp-human Placenta’. The usual human placenta interacts to pass from mother to baby oxygen, carbon dioxide, nutrients, hormones, antibodies (Immunoglobulin Gamma, IgG) and so on. The Dolp-human placenta blocks the delivery of IgG to the baby. The placenta originates from the baby’s side, which in this case is a dolphin, and not from the human side. This avoids the ethical and legal difficulties associated with reproductive research involving human eggs. The decidua is formed by implantation of the egg. Usually, foreign cells in the body (for example from other individuals) are attacked by the immune system, but inside the decidua they are tolerated. However, even though the decidua accepts cells from other individuals, non-human cells would still be attacked. In the dolp-human placenta case, it has been modified to distinguish mammal from non-mammal cells, making it even more tolerant.
Colostrum or first milk The Dolp-human placenta blocks the delivery of human IgG to the dolphin baby. Usually the Dolphin placenta does not pass immunity from the mother. Instead it is passed by the ‘first milk’, which contains high levels of several antibodies. The human mother needs to feed synthesised first milk to the baby immediately after the delivery.
This project has many side and subject that related that reproduction, bio & medical technology, sustainability, food design, bio ethics, and so on.
This project won the "Moving Mind" prize at Sustain Show 2012 Royal College of Art.
Also this project had exhibited at "Grow your own... -life after nature-" Science Gallery at Dublin context of synthetic life and up coming bio technology.
This project has been written an article "Nature and Ethics Across Geographical, Rhetorical and Human Borders " by sociologist in University of Cambridge.