Abstract

This article discusses the role of design in collaborative scientific research, through an analysis of the human-scaled models produced by designer Will Burtin for the pharmaceutical conglomerate Upjohn. It argues that such models triggered an intimate co-dependence between architectural techniques and biological theories, consolidating biology into a form of construction—a form of building. Within the context of corporate-sponsored scientific research of American postwar, Upjohn embraced unorthodox methods of mass media communication to engage the public with scientific narratives. It was through such unconventional techniques that design concerns—form, scale, construction, aesthetics—were placed at the forefront of scientific debates.

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