Inspired by the research conducted on the interaction between organic materials and fungi, during the development of ‘Bodies of Change’, this research-project looks at the study and at the application of a different fungus, Phanerochaete chrysosporium, to synthetic, toxic materials, that do not naturally decompose and that are found to provoke unhealthy, risky consequences for the entire ecosystem: Plastics.
By having researched and demonstrated the ability that such micro-organism has in decomposing phenolic resins and, more generally in degrading plastics, and by merging this finding with a vision, the project creates a social narrative to help us questioning our “throw away” culture, while addressing the designer’s role and responsibilities.
Bio Cover “…why should not a plastic chair dress up for death?”
Having deliberately chosen a globally well-known, pragmatic object – the Monobloc plastic chair -, the project makes use of such image, as a statement about the life-cycles of consumer products, in direct comparison with the immortality of the materials, most of the consumer products are made of.
Highlighting the complementarity of life and death as a whole, the ‘Bio Cover’ comes as a tool-product for turning an inanimate, synthetic object into a living entity and to therefore trigger the process of its final dissolution.
The woollen cover is, in fact, capable of promoting the action of the fungus, by feeding and nurturing the organism, while starting the colonisation of the plastic material. Once fully colonised, the user can dispose of the chair, by placing it in the garden or by literally burying it.
Such visionary statement and provocative image rooted in tangible scientific facts , allow to create a social narrative, aiming to help us questioning our “throw-away” culture, while addressing the designer’s role and responsibilities.
The resulting organic material, once plastic, can be now used as natural fertiliser, providing extra nutrients to the soil for the growing of new life.
Download Thesis DAE – 2010