This object is currently on display in room 302 as part of Nature—Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial. See our image rights statement.


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Resurrecting the Sublime, 2018-19

It was designed by Christina Agapakis, Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg and Sissel Tolaas and manufactured by Ginkgo Bioworks. It is dated 2018-19. Its medium is scent installation, video.

This project approximates the smell of an extinct flower. Researchers extracted DNA sequences from historic samples of the extinct flower and inserted the sequences into yeast cells, cultured them, and extracted molecules to approximate the flower’s scent. The project raises probing questions about the implications of loss, centered on the sensory experience of extinction. Stand under the hood (to your right) to smell the released scent.

It is credited Courtesy of the designers.

  • The Substitute, 2019
  • installation, video.
  • Commissioned by Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum and Cube design museum.
  • NATURE.040

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