Bio Art & Design Award

The Bio Art & Design Award (formerly known as Designers & Artist 4 Genomics Award), BAD Award for short, is a unique competition that aims at stimulating young artists and designers from The Netherlands and abroad to experiment with bioart and design and to collaborate with renowned Dutch science centers.

BAD Award aims to:

  • stimulate interest, excitement and debate about the Life Sciences through high-quality, original artistic practice
  • examine the social, cultural and ethical contexts of the Life Sciences through the arts
  • promote high-quality interdisciplinary practice and collaborations between art/ design and science/technology

The BAD Awards of €25,000,- each are assigned by an international jury to the most promising and original proposals in the competition. The projects are consequently realised within six months and exhibited. Some contestants who do not get an Award still find other ways to realise their ideas.

Technological developments in the Life Sciences have a large impact on society, therefore it is important to stimulate a dialogue with society and to enhance public engagement. The displayed works stimulate interest and debate through high-quality, original artistic practice and attract national and international attention in the media.

The young artists and designers who win this competition often get a head start in their artistic careers. The BAD Award functions as a springboard, either for new nominations or BAD Awards, new or extended collaborations, grants, positions or new publications.

The international Bio Art & Design Award jury consists of independent experts. The chairman of the Jury is William Myers, writer, curator, teacher and author of the Thames & Hudson publications Biodesign Nature + Science + Creativity (2012) and Bio Art: Altered Realities (2015).

In 2019 the other Jury members are: Fred Balvert, science communicator Erasmus MC, Science Gallery Rotterdam (The Netherlands), Charlotte Jarvis, artist and winner of a BAD Award in 2012, (United Kingdom), Aisling Murray, Manager of production, assistant curator at Science Gallery Dublin (Ireland), Heather Leslie, scientist at VU Amsterdam (won in 2017) and expert in (micro)plastic research and Koert van Mensvoort, artist, philosopher, scientist, Director of Next Nature Network and Board member Society of Arts at KNAW (The Netherlands).

In 2018 the other Jury members were: Manon Parry, assistant professor of Public History, University of Amsterdam (The Netherlands),Karen Verschooren, curator and head of Exhibitions at STUK Arts Centre Leuven (Belgium), Isaac Monté, artist and former BAD Award winner (Belgium/the Netherlands), Han Wösten, Professor of Microbiology, Educational Director Biology and Biosciences Utrecht University (The Netherlands), Koert van Mensvoort, artist, philosopher, scientist and founder of Next Nature Network (The Netherlands).

In 2017 the other Jury members were: Ian Brunswick, curator, Science Gallery Dublin (Ireland), Manon Parry, universitair docent Publieksgeschiedenis, Universiteit van Amsterdam (The Netherlands), Brendan Cormier, curator of contemporary design for the V&A Museum, London United Kingdom), Samir Bantal, director of AMO, design division of Rem Koolhaas's architecture firm OMA, Rotterdam (The Netherlands), Charlotte Jarvis, bio artist en film maker, oud-winnaar BAD Award (United Kingdom).

In 2016 the other Jury members were: Ian Brunswick, curator, Science Gallery Dublin (Ierland), Robert Hall, hoogleraar Plant Metabolomics, Wageningen University (The Netherlands), Manon Parry, universitair docent Publieksgeschiedenis, Universiteit van Amsterdam (The Netherlands), Floor van Spaendonck, expert New Media/Digital Culture, Het Nieuwe Instituut, Rotterdam (The Netherlands), Mike Thompson, biodesigner, oud-winnaar Bad Award (The Netherlands).

In 2015 the other Jury members were: Ian Brunswick (Science Gallery Dublin, Ireland), Karen Verschooren (STUK, Belgium) and Laurens Landeweerd (RUN/TUD, (The Netherlands)).

In 2014 the other Jury members were: Hans Clevers (KNAW), Geert Verbeke (Verbeke Foundation, tbc), Karen Verschooren (Z33) en Hub Zwart (Centre for Society and the Life Sciences).

The Bio Art & Design Award is a product of collaboration between NWO (Dutch Research Council – Earth and Life Sciences, Humanities, The Hague), ZonMW (Medical Research Council, The Hague), MU Artspace (Eindhoven) and BioArt Laboratories (Eindhoven). The name Designers and Artists for Genomics Award was used in the years 2010-2013.