LAB MADE CACAO
This work is in collaboration with designer Michel Barchini
Can we use synthetic biology in favour of environmental and social justice?
Can we use synthetic biology in favour of emotional comfort?
Can we use synthetic biology in favour of architectures of well-being?
COCOBIOTA is a lab-grown cacao experiment in process. This project proposes the use of emerging biotechnologies to make lab-grown cocoa. A High-Frequency Somatic Embryogenesis technique is performed allowing suspended cocoa cell culture to grow in a growth medium under a controlled environment. By applying such a technology we eliminate the need for the cocoa fruit in the supply chain. How would that affect the architecture of the multi-million dollar chocolate industry?
Cocobiota references current ecology, where the human ethos is directed towards blind consumption and injustice. Cocoa -as a colonial good and the main ingredient of chocolate- is built on dark and invisible narratives that bring harm to labored bodies and the environment. Culturally, this aphrodisiac good is associated with pleasure, and desire due to its mystical powers to alter the mood. Herewith, Cocobiota infuses chocolate with oxytocin and endorphins, stretching the limits of comfort food.