Treetrunk Trashcan

Hendrik-Jan Grievink
February 4th 2008

treetrunk trashcan

The Nanputo Temple in Xiamen (Southeast China) is an oasis of quietness, religious practice and leisure for Chinese amidst the hustle and bustle of one of the fastest growing economies is the world. From all over the country, pilgrims and tourists come to the temple to pray, enjoy climbing the numerous stone steps up the rock and enjoy their view over the city. They don't want to have their experience of this harmonious environment spoilt by ugly things like trashcans, would you? But you have to leave your coke bottles and soymilk packages somewhere, so what do you do? Of course, you design a trashcan that beautifully mimics the trees surrounding it!

The designer of this chinese trashcan obviously prefers fake plastic trees above a well designed trashcan that looks just like… a trashcan. But what do trashcans look like, since their ulimate task is to collect and hide away everything we don't use anymore?

Is there something like the aesthetics of trash? This might be worth exploring. In Holland, we turn junkyards into recreation areas or golf clubs. The digital trashcan on our desktop mimics a nonexistent metal one, even though digital trash has nothing to do with the bins we only know from nostalgic movies. This goes up to the point where we associate these retro-style bins more to the first nostalgic desktop icons, than to these authentic bins from the movies.

One could argue that every society gets the trash it deserves, but this is a bit cynical if we consider all the waste dumping of 1st world countries in developing countries. The Waste = Food concept still seems a future fantasy most of the times. Until then, we have to face up to the piles of junk we produce. What's the best strategy to deal with it? Aestheticize it? Eat it?

Trash is everywhere and trashcans are everywhere. But what if places like the Nanputo Temple ceize to exist? What should our litter bins mimic then? In our Next Nature, where lies the future of trash?

See also: Trashcan brought to Physical office | Digital Trashcan | Portraits of American Mass Consumption | Fake for Real: Digital Trashcan

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Koert.com
Posted 08/02/2008 – 01:22

Yeah, blook on trash would be good... It especially interests me how in old nature trash sort of doesn't exist because everything is connected to everything and all waste is food somewhere else... Take for instance oil, which is in fact the waste of plants who died millions of years ago. I sometimes wonder if nature invented Man to clean up all this plant dirt? It would be good if we would become more aware of our position in the loop. Despite that the 'cradle-to-cradle' concept still has to prove itself in the industry at large, I feel it is quite promising. In general designers are becoming more aware that they are not designing just *products*, but *processes* and thus get a better overview of the lifecycle of the things they design. Feed Forward, Feed Back.

Hendrik-Jan Grievink
Posted 05/02/2008 – 18:50

@ Mirelle: that's a really good question. We should make a book: A Short History Of Trash
"Trash Thou Art, and Unto Trash Shalt Thou Return"

Mirelle
Posted 05/02/2008 – 07:30

does anyone know when the trashcan was invented??

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Should men be able to give birth to children?


Joyce Nabuurs: To me this question seems to be a logical next step in the emancipation movement of the past century. More and more women entered the workspace, but the responsibility for pregnancy and childrearing remained female.

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