London Design Festival has finished – but what fun we had. Our exhibition – Toilet Break – in collaboration with The Shit Museum, featured two exhibitions and a series of debates to explore the potential of shit and how we might re-evaluate our most primordial activity.
At the debates, Owen Hatherley got grumpy about the decline of public loos, JoAnne Bichard spoke on the sexual politics of toilets, Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg shared her research on shit and diagnostics and Peter Codling (below) told how stubborn social and cultural norms have prevented his award-winning toilet from going into production.
Behind the curtain, Dirty Furniture’s exhibition On The Go took the adult nappy as its theme. In an era when technological innovation prioritises making our lives more mobile, this exhibition explored whether design can intervene in order to take the social stigma away from shitting and whether on-the-go toileting is a utopian or dystopian prospect. A dramatisation of our feature by Natalie D Kane Should We All Wear Nappies, the exhibition also presented a speculative piece (centre stage below) by talented London-based designer Lukas Franciszkiewicz of Takram.
The Shit Museum brought its award-winning product range over from Milan for the occasion. Launched during Milan design week in April this year, The Primordial Products are made out of Merdacotta – a new craft material that makes use of the 150,000 kilogrammes of shit produced by farmer Gianantonio Locatelli’s 3,500 cows.
For the exhibition, The Shit Museum’s Luca Cipeletti erected an installation using the Merdacotta Giga Bricks – our debating chamber for the week – being observed with caution by the Mayor of Kensington and Chelsea, and her husband, in the image below. Read more about the exhibition in reviews from Dezeen, Disegno and more.