Data on your plate
Every day, unknowingly, we breathe fine dust with negative impacts on our health. Architect Iris de Kievith and designer Annemarie Piscaer found a way to harvest the dust and to use it for ceramic glazing, creating a new porcelain tableware. The colorful glazing created from the captured dust makes the (poor) air quality visible, even tangible. The use of ordinary dishes -a cereal bowl, a coffee cup- is just as usual and intimate as breathing, and becomes a suitable means for heightening awareness of air quality. Initially the new tableware is produced using the air pollution of Rotterdam. As a way of ‘participative urban mining’, people can help harvesting the dust in their most polluted city roads. The final objective therefor is to phase out the production of Smogware due to a reduction and then lack of airborne pollutants.
Since the initiators live and work in Rotterdam, they started to use the air pollution from Rotterdam. These fine dust particles are used for a glaze for a tableware that consists of 6 pieces. All the pieces are created in 5 colors, depending of the amount of dust that is used in the glaze, resulting in a peculiar matrix of data.
Over ten years a citizen of Rotterdam breathes in about one gram of particulate matter. This is the amount that is used to glaze one coffee cup or plate. The same is done with the amounts of dust that a person breathes in 25, 45, 65 or 85 years. The color differences speak for themselves. After Rotterdam tableware is made for other cities.
The city where the dust was collected and its quantity is marked on each piece, as shown in image ‘RTM 45’.
For this vanitas the fine dust ‘footprint’ is calculated together with DCMR of daily choices on our plate. The outcomes equals the amount of air pollution that a person breaths in 10 years in Rotterdam, 1 gram.
It is the same amount of air pollution from a car that one person in Rotterdam is driving on an average base in only 5 days. The dust that we breath also comes for example from air pollution produced by shipping our products world wide. This 1 gram is the same emission as transporting 7 items (with the size of shoes or a tea cup) by a container ship from China to Rotterdam.