When I was about six years old, I got my first pet, a goldfish. It didn’t survive for too long and I still do not know why that is. Whatever I tried, after a week of joy there where weeks of tears. For a very long time I didn’t had a pet, as my mother was allergic to animals with hair, what a horribly bad pretext that was. When my parents divorced, we finally got our long wanted dog. Quiet the normal pet curriculum vitae I have right, but that might all change in the near future.

WAAG SOCIETY Amsterdam is opening a Pet Shop on the Red Light district, but do not expect cute little bunnies, puppy eyes or nibbling guinea pigs. This pet shop will consist fully out of microbes, by some better known as mold.

You have to be patient for a little bit longer as the world’s first pop-up microbial pet shop will first open on the 21st of July 2016. Allthought it might be the first pop-up pet store, Waag Society started their microbial experiments events back in 2015 when they were present at the Dutch Design Week and the Museum Night Amsterdam. Now they are taking it to the next level with this Pet Shop at the Schatjes Gallery.

This time it isn’t an experiment but a real shop, as you can buy bacteria, fungi and algae and get yourself a new pet. It might sounds as a joke but they are actually living creatures and taking care of them is very educational but also fun.

You might not know, but microbes grow too, and once they do the design possibilities are endless. You could make your own bio-ink, build a fungi based house for yourself or for more wild ideas you should visit the little exhibition that is along side the pet shop. In this exhibition you can see how different designers use biology as the basis of their work.

The main goal for this event is to make biotechnology accesible to the public, which is a good thing if you ask me. With our natural resources getting more scare by the second, we have to look into new opportunities and biotechnology might be a good replacement.

Lastly, I like the way De Waag is reviewing the function and meaning of a known subject. We just take things as we have learned them and never question why things are as they are, but within our new reviewing everything trend, we can see a rise of people that search for more purpose and opportunities within well known products.
Moreover, the fact that this pop-up store brings attention to bio-technology, something that people might find a bit scary, but they way they do it makes it more accesible and understandable.


red-light-petshop-00red-light-petshop-03red-light-petshop-02red-light-petshop-01Source: De Waag