The Bacteria Issue: In Search of Creative Solutions to Finally Deal with it

The cover of this post features the work "Subvisual Subway - Bacteria of the New York City subway" by Craig Ward. The designer is also the author of another project featuring microbiology called "Fe203", a conceptual and ornamental system of type and glyphs.

 

It’s pretty common knowledge that many pathogens can be dangerous for your wellbeing. We can't comprehend how many bacteria exist in shared places such as the kitchen, bathroom, the kid's rooms or even in our garages, not to mention schools, libraries and public transit.

There are so many places we are lead to believe are cleanly, but actually have a huge concentration of bacteria, such as hospitals or fine dining restaurants. We associate hospitals with places where we go to treat infections or have surgery and we end up being exposed to even more diseases than before.

 

Subvisual Subway, New York City bacteria, Craig Ward © Craig Ward. Subvisual Subway.
Subvisual Subway, New York City bacteria, Craig Ward © Craig Ward. Subvisual Subway.

 

The ugly truth about Bacteria

Recently, there were flesh-eating bacteria that infected a New Jersey man while he went crabbing on a river. Or uncommon high levels of bacteria in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, making the water unsafe and affecting the local tourism. What else is there to know about bacteria that we are not aware of?

Meanwhile, it’s hard to precisely answer the previous question.  There is one thing bacteria does that we want to highlight that not so many people are aware of.  Have you ever lost something that your later found in a drawer only to find out that it was destroyed over time? Time plays an important role, but it’s not the only factor. Bacteria are also the guilty ones when it comes to decomposition over time.

 

Wash Your Hands, Benjamin Minter © Benjamin Minter. Wash Your Hands.
Wash Your Hands, series by Benjamin Minter © Benjamin Minter. Wash Your Hands

 

Bacteria can Benefit your health as well

Although it is true that a lack of bacteria can be detrimental to our health, there are some things we use on a daily basis that could really use a good bacteria cleanse. We are speaking of shoes, clothes, drawers, wardrobes, pets accessories, mattresses and even toothbrushes! There are some important questions we need to ask ourselves: what do bacteria really do? Are there good and bad bacteria? How does bacteria affect our daily lives?

Most importantly: How do we create a healthy balance between the quantity of these microorganisms in our life without creating a sterile environment?. How can we prevent them from destroying our stuff and our health?

 

Expired Time - Lettrines by Carol Trang © Carol Trang. Expired Time - Lettrines.
Expired Time - Lettrines by Carol Trang © Carol Trang. Expired Time - Lettrines.

 

Bacteria is not only floating in the air, it is everywhere!

 We were able to do some pretty fascinating research on the bacterial subject while we were working on BRID and researching for air purifiers that break down bacteria. That’s the main reason why it was so important to us that BRID did its job and could effectively target and eliminate the harmful kind of bacteria that’s in our air. They are our invisible enemies; you can't see them, but they are omnipresent and can be very damaging.

What about the other bacteria though? The ones that are not floating in the air, but tangled in stuff we wear or use on a daily basis? So much has been already discussed on the matter over the past few years, but until now so little has been achieved that would be worth mentioning. We are in search of discoveries and solutions. Can design help us untangle the matter? How?

 

 

If you have any knowledge on the subject and would like to carry on the conversation, feel free to share your thoughts with us in the comment section below or write us directly. We’ll be eager to discuss it further.


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