A few thoughts on this ad I spotted last week in Boston:


1. Yes, that appears to be a giant gel electrophoresis. Geez, this town is nerdy.

2. I hope that attractive woman is supposed to be a genetics PhD. Because we’re all supermodels.

3. Why didn’t I ever think to do a random restriction digest and blot on my own DNA back when I was in the lab 18 hours a day, so I could false-color it in Photoshop, hang it above the mantel, and brag about my trendy home decor? Bah! I suppose maybe there were rules about that sort of thing.

4. The loft development website asks, “What’s your design DNA”? Got an answer? Got any idea what the question means? Neither do I.

(BTW, I also posted this photo over at Collective Imagination, on a note I wrote about the new NIH Genetic Testing Registry).


  1. #1 LAJ
    March 19, 2010

    In Toronto we have DNA lofts, too. Here, it seems to stand for “Downtown’s Next Address”. I haven’t seen the actual building, so I don’t know if there is a giant gel electrophoresis hanging from it. I’m guessing not.

  2. #2 HP
    March 19, 2010

    I’m old enough to remember when hipster chicks wore granny glasses and elephant bells, but if I understand the modern argot correctly, that woman is no hipster. Shouldn’t she have dreadlocks, tattoos, and a labrette?

    (So says the man who lives in a renovated downtown storefront.)

  3. #3 Jessica Palmer
    March 19, 2010

    No, she’s not really wearing an outfit that gives her hipster cred. I was mainly mocking the wink-wink nudge-nudge “Yeah, that’s a DNA blot, I like science motifs because I’m young and edgy – obviously” subtext of the ad. The woman could be a current hipster, though; you don’t need tattoos or dreads last I checked (though I’m not a hipster-pologist). But I think you mainly need < a href=",8599,1913220,00.html">a smug elitist attitude and ostentatiously quirky vintage garments.

    (See also Hipster Kitty. Awesome.)

  4. #4 some other guy you knew before
    March 20, 2010

    She’s missing the fe-mullet, hoodie, and leggings. Unflattering on purpose is the new cute.

  5. #5 Jessica Palmer
    March 20, 2010

    “fe-mullet” should be in the OED.

  6. #6 DNA
    March 20, 2010

    That attractive woman holds a PhD in makeup!
    Maybe they sequenced her DNA to extract few cool genes for nice face.

  7. #7 Lucas Jackson
    March 21, 2010

    Design how you want to live…what is your design DNA? It means what it says. These are lofts for sale that you can put your own custom design on or your “DNA” so to speak. I happen to live here and I do not consider myself a hipster but I love the building and I love the fact that I bought a home I could build out and customize in a way that suits me.

  8. #8 Jessica Palmer
    March 21, 2010

    Lucas, the only time I “put my DNA on” the house I remodeled was when I knocked out a wall to the kitchen with a crowbar, cut myself, and bled profusely on the recently refinished hardwood floor.

    “What is your design DNA” is pseudoscience ad-speak for nothing at all, merely because “DNA” is trendy.

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