Understanding of Complex Problems


How do you make the tiny tangible?

The building blocks of human life – cells – are tiny. The idea behind the “Living Cell” project was to make the tiny human cell look large. The interactive installation called”‘Living Cell” was created by CLEVER°FRANKE for the ERIBA Institute in Groningen, the Netherlands. Short visualisations can explain complex problems in  subjects such as physics, biology and chemistry in ways that enhance your understanding of the problem. Somehow describing things in words seems limited after watching the video below.

This installation unveils the mystery of the cell and shows the various parts of the cell. You actually step inside a cell to explore the process of a human cell. You can activate mitochondria by simply placing your feet into them. Mitochondria is the power station and you can watch as the rest of the cell comes alive with a burst of energy. The cell’s power station is also involved in cell division and growth, as well as cell death. So a good understanding of this process is vital when you explore the world of the cell. Research into mitochondrial transfer has lead to a new way to prevent a mother passing on genetic diseases.  The genes from three persons are used in mitochondrial transfer. You can read more here about the plans to use this technique.


The installation shows:

  • What happens if a cell ages and its DNA starts to contain errors?
  • How does a cell react to bad external influences?
  • How does the cell store energy?

The installation aims to let the process speak for itself. There is no text or narration to guide you. By stepping on external substances such as glucose and nicotine, you run a little experiment to see how the cell will react. The glucose gets things moving, while the nicotine. . .

Living cell – interactive installation – Short docu from CLEVER FRANKE on Vimeo.

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