iGEM 2015

iGEM 2015 SVA
iGEM 2015 Winner:
Best Art & Design Project

Our project, Soiled, won a gold medal for the Best Art & Design Project during the iGEM 2015 Giant Jamboree.

Our project was also nominated for:
– Best Integrated Human Practices
– Best Education and Public Engagement
– Best Presentation

300 iGEM teams competed for these honorable mentions.



The iGEM Foundation is dedicated to education and competition, advancement of synthetic biology, and the development of open community and collaboration.

The main program at the iGEM Foundation is the International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) Competition. The iGEM Competition is the premiere student competition in Synthetic Biology. Since 2004, participants of the competition have experienced education, teamwork, sharing, and more in a unique competition setting.

Giant Jamboree

September 24-28 – Hynes Convention Center – Boston
More than 2700 attendees participated in the largest synthetic biology event to date. The Giant Jamboree celebrates the hard work and dedication shown by the 280 multidisciplinary iGEM teams from all over the world. See details of the event at 2015.igem.org/Giant_Jamboree.


Soiled i​s the project name for the the School of Visual Arts’ participation in the Art and Design track of the 2015 iGEM competition. By creating a speculative mobile device, a non­toxic methodology is implemented to test nutrient values in soil for the urban gardener.

Consisting of a multi­media installation composed of computer generated cut­outs in the shapes of the five boroughs of New York City, the works are fabricated from compressed board, lucite sheets and LED lights. Denoting the respective results of soil samples collected throughout the New York metropolitan area, as a visual representation the installation is consistent with the scientific processes of creating chemical color reactions. A spectrophotometer was employed to indicate the precise levels of nutrients in the aforementioned samples. By investigating alternative methods of analysis our microfluidic device holds promise for deciphering soil nutrients in a more ecological manner.

The installation functions as both a data representation of our sampling sites and additionally relies on aesthetic principles of investigation. Color which crosses the boundaries between art and science as a perceptual marker is of extreme importance in both practices, pointing at once to the ways knowledge is produced.

Visit Soiled Wiki: http://2015.igem.org/Team:SVA-NYC