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Household organic waste, a participatory material

HOW (household organic waste) bioconverted sample — © Studio Catinca Tilea

What if H.O.W. (household organic waste) was commonly seen as a renewable resource? H.O.W. would then be valuable, it would be an object of desire in a world of scarce resources. It wouldn't be thrown away just like that. We'd all benefit from it: we'd crowdsource H.O.W.

A design-science collaboration

Everybody produces H.O.W. (household organic waste). Let's imagine that H.O.W. is commonly seen as a valuable renewable resource (which it actually is, by the way). And let's imagine we all crowdsource it. In this scenario we have to rethink our relationship and behaviours around it. The moment H.O.W. begins to have trade value, it also begins to have social and political weight.
This design-science study makes a social biotech proposition: to use H.O.W. as social catalyst and empower sustainable behaviour. H.O.W. is proposed to be bioconverted into a renewable material. People can obtain it themselves and use it on their own. To create this material, H.O.W. needs to undergo controlled bioprocesses just as much as it needs a new meaning in our minds. Empirical laboratory experiments and a survey explore this possibility. While the survey gathers data on what H.O.W. looks like in people's bins, the experiments assess what adapting biotechnological H.O.W. treatments to everyday life could be like. About 50 resulting samples of material obtained in different ways offer a first glimpse of what a participatory H.O.W. material could look like.

About Studio Catinca Tilea

Studio Catinca Tilea is an art-design practice that responds to social dilemma's through product and interior design, installations, research, retail strategy, and other forms of creative expression. Its driving philosophy is that design can fulfill an educative role. That’s why the studio engages audiences as (conscious) participants in the creative process. Among the topics approached with great pleasure are environmental issues, social cohesion and integration.

HOW sample B.1.1.12B on day 10 and day 13 — © Studio Catinca Tilea

HOW material sample — © Studio Catinca Tilea

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