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World in a Cell

A large city system is comparable to the structure of a human cell. We can lean on our intuitive understanding of the city to help negotiate a complex biological system. By translating chemistry into a modular architectural language, we are creating a platform that for the first time allows biologists to collaborate with a diverse range of disciplines.

The World in a Cell is a research project run by Alex McDowell at the World Building Media Lab he directs at USC School of Cinematic Arts, in partnership with the Bridge Institute.

01 | Navigating through the Cell
02 | Rotating visual glossary of Cell elements
03 | Cell Non-linear Pathways

The project will allow a broad audience outside of molecular biology and the intensive study of the pancreatic beta cell to explore and learn about a rich biochemical world while engaging concepts through scientific narrative. The immersive and educational model of the Cell is being developed on a Unity game engine platform. As such it can be output to a diverse range of experiential, immersive and screen-based media – mixed reality, interactive media, video, graphics – for scientists, architects, urban planners, museums, and educators.

04 | Using Birdly to explore the Cell
05 | Organizing Cell elements by function and relative size. Graphics by Sharleen Chen
05 | Organizing Cell elements by function and relative size. Graphics by Sharleen Chen
06 | Illustrated by Alisa Romanova
06 | Illustrated by Alisa Romanova
07 | Illustrated by Alisa Romanova
07 | Illustrated by Alisa Romanova
01 | Navigating through the Cell
02 | Rotating visual glossary of Cell elements
03 | Cell Non-linear Pathways
04 | Using Birdly to explore the Cell
05 | Organizing Cell elements by function and relative size. Graphics by Sharleen Chen
06 | Illustrated by Alisa Romanova
07 | Illustrated by Alisa Romanova