Soil as Medium Final Project Proposal: Compost Pile Composter


My first idea for a final project was to take the “fake compost fake rock” from my midterm project and make it real. After a little more thought, I decided that I wanted to deal with the action of composting more directly. Getting people to cover up unsightly pipes in their yards with an equally unsightly fake pile of compost is funny, but I’d like to work on something that is ultimately productive.

As a variation on the theme of things-that-look-other-versions-of-themselves (I associate such items with museum gift stores), I’m going to modify an indoor compost bin to look like an outdoor compost pile. In ReNatured we frequently talked about the frustrating idea that “nature” is something separate from the streets, sidewalks, parks and empty lots that form our urban environment. I hope that this project will help to break down that divide. (And I’ve also been meaning to start composting in my apartment, so this solves that problem too!)

My intended audience for this project are those whose vision of good design means clean, expensive and high-polish. By playing around functionally (but not formally) in the museum-gift-store-product vernacular I want to show first that the appearance of a compost pile is nothing to be afraid of and second that it’s mostly a non-issue with a worm bin anyway.

My materials will be the Worm Factory composting kit and custom-printed vinyl stickers that I will cut and apply to the Worm Factory. I’ve ordered the worm kit, so the remaining weeks will involve designing the stickers and then printing, cutting and applying them to the worm bin. Tangentially related will be my own use of the worm bin, which I hope to get set up once it arrives.