In the age of postmodern consumer culture, this thesis is aiming to emphasize the moral and ethical responsibility of a product designer. By producing material goods for society, the industry is consuming natural resources - a heavy duty. Inevitably, a part of the production energy is used to generate waste material, which form and potential is usually disregarded in the ongoing process. To honour every bit of these limited and valuable materials, this project is trying to redefine the existing role of the unmindful product designer.
In ecosystems, the decomposer plays a decisive role. Bacteria and fungi for instance occur where there is dead matter. By remineralisation they decompose this matter into useful material for the system on site. The focus of this project is to illustrate opportunities for the product designer to serve as the decomposer.
Based on a cooperative exploration of alternative uses of industrial by-products, the following protocols report on fieldtrips to different production sites. The resources of these locations were examined and utilised to design furniture and home objects. Unlike conventional mass production, the by-products and circumstances in the collaborating companies dictated the scope of each design.
By transforming and recontextualising the industrial by-products, one goal is to free the scrap material from the degrading stamp of waste. During the project, these materials become objects with a story worth telling. The documentation portrays the origin and atmosphere from which the product was brought to life.
This is an appreciation of our materials and processes.