It was during one of our weekly Skype calls that a synthetic biologist suggested what was to become the guiding metaphor for the Synthetic Aesthetics project: the wedge in the door. After three years of working together across disciplines and time zones, this conversation was one of the most significant moments. The metaphor worked for all of us on the project team: for the two synthetic biologists, for the critical designer, and for me and the other social scientific researcher. The brute physicality of a wedge was appealing. The door on synthetic biology was closing, and our project (and the book that we were writing together) would attempt to stop it from doing so.