One Upon a Coincidence


‘Bacterial Superpowers’ is a project responding to our semester brief ‘Jelly Worlds’, where we, Design Investigations, partnered with Vienna’s Natural History Museum to imagine and speculate deep time and alternate evolutionary histories. The brief emerged from NHM’s desire to explore stories around the recently discovered Gabon fossils that suggest multicellular life existed 2 billion years ago.


In our speculation, microbes serve as evolutionary boosters, helping the creatures acquire a variety of abilities. With the superpowers of bacteria, our organism can utilise sediment nutrients, communicate with light, and evolve into different species.


An animated film and a model bring a speculative world to life for museum visitors: telling the story of how the new Gabonionta creatures could have developed in the first place — and showing how our organism looks physically.


Our project wants to demonstrate how much impact microorganisms have on different life forms: Bacteria do not only make us sick — they make us who we are.




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