At the seams: DIYbio and opportunities for HCI

Stacey Kuznetsov, Alex S. Taylor, Tim Regan, Nicolas Villar, Eric Paulos

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

49 Scopus citations


DIYbio (Do It Yourself Biology) aims to 'open source', tinker and experiment with biology outside of professional settings. In this paper, we present the origins, practices, and challenges of DIYbio initiatives around the world. Our findings depict DIYbio as operating across intersections ('seams') between a range of stakeholders, materials and concerns. To map out the role of Human Computer Interaction (HCI) across these seams, we present design exercises (functional prototypes) that explore three areas for future work: internal collaboration tools within the DIYbio and professional community; mechanisms for external communication with stakeholders from the general public; and bio-electronic assemblies of organic and digital materials. In doing so, we hope to critically re-envision the role of HCI at the emerging intersection of biology, computation and DIY.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the Designing Interactive Systems Conference, DIS '12
Number of pages10
StatePublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes
EventDesigning Interactive Systems Conference, DIS '12 - Newcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom
Duration: Jun 11 2012Jun 15 2012

Publication series

NameProceedings of the Designing Interactive Systems Conference, DIS '12


OtherDesigning Interactive Systems Conference, DIS '12
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
CityNewcastle Upon Tyne


  • DIY
  • DIYbio
  • hybrid materials
  • publics
  • synthetic biology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Human-Computer Interaction


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