When I was looking for new work to feature in my upcoming show Talk to Me, an exhibition on the communication between people and objects that is slated to open at The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York next summer, I immediately thought of Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg, a remarkable recent graduate of the Design Interactions program at the Royal College of Art (RCA) in London. The clarity, aesthetic and intellectual elegance conveyed in Ginsberg's art marries an undeniable design talent with a deep passion for science.

In her “E. Chromi” project featured here, which found Ginsberg partnered with designer and fellow RCA alum James King, Ginsberg labors to devise a system for our own body to “talk to us” by imagining ingestible synthetic bacteria that change color in the presence of chemical signals—say, blue for an ulcer or red for viral pathogen—thereby transforming our feces into diagnostic tools. Designers like Ginsberg allow us to access and understand complex ideas—what could be more complex than the inner workings of the human body? But she doesn't stop at the purely conceptual. To create such pigment-producing biosensors, Ginsberg teamed up with students from the University of Cambridge, UK, and the resulting collaboration helped the Cambridge team take home the grand prize at last year's International Genetically Engineered Machine competition.

Ginsberg, 28, is now creating more and more opportunities for designers, artists and scientists to come together as a fellow of the Synthetic Aesthetics project. Her disarming energy and drive will be important engines for the future not only of design, but also of science.

Credit: Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg