Mug, BioCapital

Mug, BioCapital

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Description (Brief)
Starting in 1984, Synergistic Designs created a series of artistic maps it dubbed “FusionScapes” to promote regional areas of high technology, particularly biotechnology. The maps depicted local businesses and research facilities, and were intended to serve as “both a fun conversation piece and an effective line of corporate image-enhancement tools.”
Concentrated centers of biotechnology throughout the United States were given catchy nicknames referring to the region and its ties to genetics. Among these names were “Genetown” (a play on “Beantown” for the greater Boston area) and “BioForest” (the name for the Pacific Northwest biotech industry.) This mug depicts some of the biotechnology firms of the “BioCapital” region (the Washington, D.C., metro area) in 1996.
Companies, universities, and research facilities in the biotech field paid to be included on the maps as well as in regional directories, which were updated every other year. The maps were printed on posters, postcards, T–shirts and other promotional ephemera, and could be modified to highlight specific institutions. By the mid-1990s, Synergistic Designs shifted its emphasis from traditional printed promotional materials to a website that integrated all of the regions of biotechnology in a single space. launched in 1996 with the intention of being a “virtual on-going trade conference for the global biotech industry.” The site was still live and publishing new regional biotech maps as of 2012.
Today, the older maps provide unique historical snapshots of the development of biotechnology industries in different regions of the United States.
“Synergistic designs unveils 4th Biotech Bay promotional campaign; demonstrates biospace web site enhancements” PR Newswire.
“Md. Biotech industry setting up Web site ‘Nonstop trade show’ starts next month at” Guidera, Mark. Baltimore Sun. August 28, 1996.
1994 Biotech Bay Directory
Accession File
Currently not on view
Object Name
date made
United States: District of Columbia
United States: Maryland
United States: Virginia
Physical Description
ceramic (overall material)
overall: 11.5 cm x 13 cm x 8.4 cm; 4 17/32 in x 5 1/8 in x 3 5/16 in
ID Number
catalog number
nonaccession number
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Biological Sciences
Science & Mathematics
Biotechnology and Genetics
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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