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TEAM: The Hijackers

DESIGNER: Kyley N Smithers


Cindy and I were both drawn to each other for different reasons. Cindy told me part of the reason she was drawn to me was that the photographs I submitted of my designs were taken outside. I was so happy to hear that we are both intrigued by and have a love with the outdoors. I was drawn to Cindy's beautiful bright green images. I love how bacteria and intestines are normally considered ugly but in this case are so beautiful.

Cindy and I initiated contact via email both expressing how excited we were to get started and set up a time to Skype. I had many questions for Cindy about her research and she answered them all and explained her research in full.

She was very detailed in her descriptions of her research and lab work. When she said the side effect of ingesting Enterohemorrhagic-E. Coli is bloody diarrhea.

She joked with me that she kept trying to describe her research to people with out saying bloody diarrhea this and bloody diarrhea that.

Unfortunately while doing some more research on these bacteria, she found that a related strain of bacteria can cause kidney failure and there is no cure with either strain. When presented with symptoms of bloody there is not much Doctors can do and with kidney failure one must get a transplant. What we both found intriguing as well as disappointing is that this bacteria could be stopped at the source. Unfortunately the animals carrying this bacteria have no symptoms.

If the prognoses could be reached with clear symptoms, this would create a faster and more cost effective way to trace and eliminate Enterohemorrhagic-E. Coli before it reaches grocery stores and restaurants. If someone like the FDA wouldn't mind footing the bill; cows and other animals could be tested and immunized. This testing would prevent the bacteria from forming on animals and any vegetable farms located nearby. While describing to me how the bacteria infect the cell Cindy used the term hijacking and that caught my attention. We discussed this term “Hijacking” along with others and came to the conclusion it would be fun and appropriate to call ourselves “The Hijackers”.

As the designer of our team, I was thrilled when Cindy spoke about how the bacteria replicates and she said how this reminded her of the artist Andy Warhol. I remembered studying him in school and decided to go to the library and give myself a refresher. Well what did I find but a picture of a room that he had covered in silk screenings of cow's heads.

After we spoke on Skype I felt great about having more information on her research. I asked her to send me any and all images she had and she did. Better yet she sent me a write up and email explaining what the images in each picture were and how they are important to her research. The best thing about all our chats and the images Cindy sent me are that I have so much to work with. I have literal references as well as figurative. Also the images provide me with wonderful colors, textures and volume. I am looking forward to continuing this journey with Cindy.

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