Thesis Info

Thesis Title
Solidified Urine Research Paper - From human waste, urine and uric acid to reusable applications
Qinming Feng
2nd Author
3rd Author
Master of Art
Number of Pages
Central Saint Martins, University of The Arts London
Thesis Supervisor
Heather Barnett
Supervisor e-mail
h.barnett AT
Other Supervisor(s)
Language(s) of Thesis
Department / Discipline
Art; Material Design; Biodesign; Interdisciplinary Research
Languages Familiar to Author
English and Chinese
URL where full thesis can be found
Solidified urine; Urine; Material Design; Biodesign
Abstract: 200-500 words
This paper presents a research that aims to rediscover the possibility of the relationship between the waste of the human body and the future of design. In order to achieve the research goals, on the one hand, I investigated the current treatment of body waste and the existing application cases. On the other hand, I analysed some innovative technology, such as bio-design, 3d printing. They are utilised to expand the attribute of the material (body waste) in the process of my practice. The first component introduces the inspirations with representing the connection between body waste, new materials and aesthetics, then raising a question to the traditional criterion on human waste. The second component focuses on urine, the most productive human waste (weight and volume), by analysing its chemical property and curing transitions, researching and exploring its proficiency on aesthetic and design. The third component crystallised the application of urine with my practice and gives examples to show the key technique which inspires and underpins my design thinking. At the end, it discussed what we can do from the current status and what I learned from the research journey. This research paper is based on certain thoughts towards renewable resource and human habitation in the context of environmental degradation. Firstly, human beings have been demanding resources from nature for millions of years, which has led to serious resource shortage. Under this situation, I am wondering whether humanity can start to regard themselves as sustainable matters and exploit the potential resources from their body? For instance, there are certain available, renewable elements in the organs that should be excreted through metabolisms such as urine and perspiration, and there are some substances that are rejected by the human body such as cholesterol crystals and calculus, after being expelled from the body. Are they useless? Perhaps they contain certain new possibilities when they are operated on outside the body. After all, when the fertiliser from the body is combined with the recycling system of nature, then we can truly realise that we are not only social beings but also natural persons. The significance of this research is to serve as a prototype to remind people to explore the potential value of human waste. With the development and deepening of the research, people may find more specific application scenarios.