Long before mass-produced plastic dishware, humans made tools and utensils from animal bones, hair, and hides. But the industrial meat industry has done away with the traditional and sustainable practice of using every part of the animal, and we’re left with disposable Solo cups clogging landfills.
Netherlands-based designer Ma’ayan Pesach wants to change that. In her graduation project at Design Academy Eindhoven, she combines waste products from the food industry—including bones, hair, and skin—with mass-produced objects, to create a sculptural dinner set. Called "Tribaling Mass Production," the collection reminds us of the origins of what we eat—while we’re eating.
Some of the work is semi-practical; other pieces are purely abstract and surreal, resembling miniature totem poles or ritual objects. There’s a plastic ladle with a handle covered in fur; a teakettle wearing what looks a lot like a tail. "My project should be seen as a criticism on the meat industry," Pesach tells Co.Design, though she is not a vegetarian.
The designer procured her materials from slaughterhouses. "I definitely saw a lot of harsh scenarios," she says. "But it is just a part of life, and I accept it. Did I enjoy all those moments? No. But even the less pleasant parts were very interesting." By repurposing the leftovers of hyper-consumerism, Pesach says she aims to "raise questions about the future of eating, culture, and rituals."
These pieces reminds us of the gruesome-chic work of Victoria Ledig, Pesach’s classmate at Design Academy Eindhoven, who created a series of handbags from cows’ tails, ears, and faces. Do we spy a trend?