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Isha Datar Design@Large

Isha Datar (New Harvest)

**Due to COVID restrictions, only UCSD students and employees will be allowed to attend the class in person. All others must attend remotely via Zoom. Capacity is limited to first-come first-serve.

Wednesday, October 13, 2021 at 4:00 P.M.*
Design and Innovation Building (DIB), 2nd Floor Large Event Room #202

Note: The Design and Innovation Building (DIB) is located adjacent to the Structural and Materials Engineering Building on Pepper Canyon Lane

*There will be an optional outdoor reception from 5:00 – 5:45 P.M on the DIB 2nd Floor Terrace. Desserts and refreshments provided. UCSD students, employees, and external guests are welcome to attend.

**This will be hybrid event. For those attending remotely, please register via Zoom using the “Register Here” button at the top.


How Growing Meat from Cells Can Democratize Agriculture

When it comes to cultured meat, burgers are the baseline. It would be disappointing for cellular agriculture to merely replace factory farming with yet another kind of consolidated monopoly over the food system. The transition to cell ag is an opportunity to restore democratic and collective governance to agriculture. In the process of ushering in this radical technology, we want to radically redistribute the power so deeply entrenched by today’s agricultural system.


Isha Datar is executive director of New Harvest, a nonprofit research institute that funds open, public cultured meat research. She has been pioneering cellular agriculture since 2009, driven by a passion to see transformative technology create a better world. In 2010, Isha published a review paper in the scientific journal Innovative Food Science and Emerging Technologies, among the first handful of papers to ever discuss cultured meat in academic literature. After co-founding Muufri (now Perfect Day Foods) and Clara Foods in 2014, she transferred her founding equity to New Harvest and used it to establish an endowment for cell ag research. In 2015, Isha coined the term “cellular agriculture” — officially creating a category for agriculture products produced from cell cultures rather than whole plants or animals. Isha is a Shuttleworth Foundation Fellow and Director’s Fellow at the MIT Media Lab. Isha holds a BSc. in cell and molecular biology from the University of Alberta and a master’s in biotechnology from the University of Toronto.


Design@Large is a speaker series hosted by The Design Lab at UC San Diego, where each quarter we examine a topic in society and the relevance and implications through the lens of human centered design.

Our theme this quarter is “Rebels, Revolutionaries & Risk takers”.

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