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From Stem Cells to Big Ideas: An Exploration of In Vitro Meat through the Lens of Schema Studies

By Clément Bordas

Consumption of meat in the United States is on the rise, with projections suggesting that it will reach a record high in 2018 of 200 pounds of beef, pork, and/or chicken a year per capita. While American consumption of meat increases, people in developing nations are also consuming meat several times a week.

With sustainability issues challenging industrialized animal agriculture, in vitro meat could be a potential solution, producing meat in a more humane way while still meeting demand. Researchers disagree over whether or not in vitro meat production is a better and more sustainable production system; however, it provides an interesting topic to explore the acceptance of an idea.

Schema studies provide an interesting framework to explore the acceptance of in vitro meat. Schema analogies make the strange familiar by introducing something that we can relate to and comparing it to something we aren’t familiar with. The opposite is also true; they can make the familiar strange by using new insights and creating unrelated or unexpected connections. Schema extends the range of interaction we can have with things and allows us to engage in more dense communication and interaction.

For instance, I positioned in vitro meat production within the narrative realm to introduce schemas that provide information on aspects of in vitro meat production. My narrative takes place in a future era where people’s receptivity, as defined by David Rose’s Audience Receptivity Gradient, ranges from accepting ideas to becoming an advocate for the cause. What if in vitro meat production has matured to the point that it is common place?

I explored schemas that used science, education, tourism, cosmetics, agriculture, food conception and distribution, and design as sources of familiar artifacts to introduce the user to in vitro meat production concepts.

Stem Farms

Stem Farms

Love the Calf

Love the Calf

In Vitro Ads

In Vitro Ads

Clément Bordas is a French graphic and digital designer currently studying at North Carolina State University in the Masters of Graphic Design program. Thanks to his studies, he has had the opportunity to apply his graphic design skills to many sectors like science, tourism, art and technology. He is interested in the impact of technology on the design profession and the experimentation resulting from it. He has lived in several cities in France but also abroad, in Paisley, Scotland, London, England, Norman, Oklahoma and now in Raleigh, giving him the cultural diversity needed in the creative thinking process.

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