Cellular Encounter

In collaboration with Ying Deng, Wageningen University


How does drinking milk wage war on a cellular level? Because heat is applied to milk during the industrial preservation processes an inflammatory reaction is triggered in the intestines. The cells alert the body of a foreign element, or invader, to be eliminated. The Cellular Encounter Table Game makes the inside visible on the outside through reenacting this process. Two players drink milk while reproducing the inner invisible battle of the macrophages. The name of the game is to not play against each other but use the different pieces to win balance. Temperature, proteins (processed and not processed), sentry cells, cytokines (the chemical signals cells use to communicate) are moved on the ‘board-table’ in relation to their properties, reacting to each other in the intestinal battle field.

The encounter of each kind of element (immune cell, cytokine, glucose, protein) creates a reaction that the players have to follow. The goal of the game is to reach a balance between inflammation and anti-inflammation, following different lines of actions.