Biotechnology, Design Thinking
Biotech • Digital Biology • Design Thinking
Julie Legault is a designer-entrepreneur from the city of Montreal and an expert in transforming complex technology into experiences for non-experts. Over the last decade, Julie has worked in design research, user experience and in the maker movement. Julie began her career earning a B.F.A. (Design and Computation Art), and an G.Cert. (Digital Technologies in Design Art Practice) from Concordia University in Montreal. She furthered her skills and knowledge by completing a Master of Art (School of Materials) at the Royal College of Art in London, United Kingdom and a Master of Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Media Lab. Since very early access to computing in her 1980s childhood, Julie has pursued understanding and translating complex technologies to the uninitiated through teaching and applied design.
During her career, Julie won and attended Design Residencies worldwide, taught at Birmingham’s Institute of Art and Design (UK), the Royal College of Art, and worked with multi-nationals, and pop stars such as Rihanna to develop accessible smart materials, wearables and biometric devices. Her work has been published and exhibited globally, notably in Wired Magazine, NYT, NPR, MoMA, ARS Electronica, and at the Victoria & Albert museum.
Her unexpected foray into DNA technology inspired her so thoroughly that finding an accessible entry point in the complex science became the focus of her MIT Media Lab graduate thesis. It led her to found Amino Labs, an MIT spinout that builds hardware and biotechnology experiences to make learning, doing and innovating in genetic engineering accessible to children, non-scientists.
Throughout her career, Julie participated and mentored in several entrepreneurship environments, including IndieBio (Biotechnology Startup Accelerator), and E14 (MIT Media Lab Startup Accelerator). Julie is also a proud fellow of the Coaching Fellowship program for Extraordinary Young Women Leaders of Impact.
Biotechnology is going through a rapid evolution as it moves from the lab into our bodies and even to our kitchen tables. Since its digitization in the early 2000s, biotechnology has exploded into a playing field that now welcomes designers, entrepreneurs, artists, and even teenagers who are all learning, building and innovating with the building blocks of life.
As the science becomes democratized, it is already starting to reshape traditional industries, economies, and even what it means to be human. In this unfolding biological world, we all have a role to play because what we do right now will affect everything that comes after us.
In this talk:
•Participants will gain an understanding of emerging democratized biotechnologies projects which will help them better forecast how the rapidly evolving field of biotechnology/digital biology will impact them, their families, industries, and humanity.
•Participants will understand how accessible it can be to learn and do biotechnology outside of traditional institutions.
•Participants will understand the pressing need to learn about digital biology/biotechnology.
•Participants will be able to explain some ethical and moral issues surrounding digital biology/biotechnology and its democratization.
•Participants will be able to identify opportunities for engagement with digital biology/biotechnology.