You’re bound to run across just about any number of cool crafts when skimming about the web. Take a look at that scarf, for instance. It’s not a bad looking piece of knit-work. Cozy-looking, interesting pattern, seems to be well constructed. You might even be tempted to purchase one for the winter. That is, before being told it was going to cost you $464, at which point you would probably laugh and scratch your head in confusion. At least, those are the reactions I had when first coming across Dot One, the company that creates these high-end pieces of garb (alongside many other seemingly overvalued products).
So why the steep price tag? The company claims that each item is unique, the designs being crafted from your own DNA. You might first think it to be joke, but checking out the website, these guys are 100% for real. The process is laid out right there on their homepage: request a DNA kit, send them back a sample of saliva (using one of those swabs you cleaned your CDs with back in the day when they kept skipping), wait for it be analyzed by their lab (AlphaBiolabs–a UK outfit, in case you were wondering), and voila! You have your personalized hand-crafted scarf, or your wall print, which if we’re being honest, looks a bit more like a hastily completed high school art project than a hidden gem from the local gallery.
At this point you’ve got to be wondering, “Just who are these geniuses?” Fear not. They’ve got a nice little rundown on the website as well:
“Dot One (formerly GeneWeaver) was created by Iona Inglesby in 2013 when she was studying at the Royal College of Art. It developed into her final graduation project (MA Design Products 2014) and since then she has been working on a commission basis and building her first business. Iona also works as a designer for Prof. Christofer Toumazou, of Imperial College London, a pioneering inventor in the field of Biotechnology.”
The bio continues:
“Iona, although coming from a design background, has always been fascinated by scientific phenomena and data. Instead of seeing data as raw figures, she builds narrative around it to create a way in which we can feel more connected and have a greater understanding of ourselves and the world around us.”
There we have it. Art nerds pimping science as a gimmick to generate buzz and peddle their wares. Not a bad racket, and to be frank, everything about this operation has the fingerprints of a talented professional artist about it. Clean website with powerful design, subdued pastel colors, pretentious art-babble. It’s slick and well done, but it’s a hustle. A sweet, $464 hustle, but a hustle all the same. Surely that’s being touched on?
No. In fact, Engadget, Wired, The Next Web, and Dezeen have all written rather positively about the idea. Dezeen going so far as to link to another ridiculous service, Print All Over Me, that “turns search terms and mouse activity into textile patterns”. A bit of research turns up even more of these companies: PlayDNA, DNA11, DNA-Art, all selling products based on an individual’s DNA, dubbing them “the most unique and personalized form of art.” Here you thought self-portraits were the height of narcissism.
Source: Dot One