The future is biodegradable
“The future is plastic.” That is what the world believed over one hundred years ago when the first synthetic plastic was invented in 1907. This new durable, flexible, and lightweight material promised an easier life and cheaper products. Much to our dismay, the future has been indeed plastic as it is a ubiquitous part of our daily lives. A material we are constantly disposing of but follows us everywhere we go. Littered across sidewalks, in rivers, in oceans, and in our own guts. The ultimate design flaw of plastic is that it doesn’t degrade. At least not in our lifetimes. Or our children’s. Or our grandchildren’s. And many many generations after that. Why would we use a permanent material for things we want to be temporary?
Bacterial cellulose has been in the periphery of scientific research for decades but the popularity of kombucha in the last decade coincides with artists, designers, and scientists experimenting with it as a material and the beginning of businesses developing around cellulose materials. The materials cellulose are most commonly designed to replace are leather, paper, and plastic. In particular, bacterial cellulose has great potential in replacing shrink wrapping, plastic bags, and seran wrap. It's thin, it's flexible, and most importantly it degrades quickly over time unlike plastic which takes centuries and sometimes millenia to degrade.
The Biosphere Cellulose Kitchen presents how the production of bacterial cellulose, as a replacement for single-use plastic, can be integrated into our everyday routines. In between doing your laundry and taking out the trash, you could be fermenting, washing, drying, and waterproofing cellulose right at home. This cellulose kitchen is a kitchen island furniture piece that creates storage bags and film cover.
A catlaogue accompanied the cellulose kitchen as a speculative branding and marketing project for the furniture piece.
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The exhibition of Biosphere Cellulose Kitchen consisted of over 50 cellulose pieces of varying textures, properties, and appearances alongside the furniture piece, the report, and a presentation.
A follow-up speaking engagement with Speculative Futures can be viewed here.