Dumpster Bread

A design exploration into waste – bringing designers intimately closer to one of our biggest opportunities for creating a better future

Dumpster Bread is an exploration into waste, as it happens everyday, in our very own lives and in the world around us. The title comes from a profound experience – pulling bags of bakery-fresh bread from an unpleasant sea of banana peels and old sneakers, a seemingly black hole known to us as the dumpster. Fundamentally, it’s an extremely simple experience, but one that can transform your perspective on waste from a distant and abstract notion to something here, now and on your plate for dinner.

As designers concerned with creating a better future, it is critical for us to establish a context, a foundation of experiences and body of inspiration from which we can ground our work. Using the tools, skills, and process of the interaction design discipline, a series of works was created to investigate the many ways waste is, or potentially could be, connected throughout our lives.

Bread and Rescue: an ad-hoc distribution system, bridges the logistical gap between a bakery’s inevitable overproduction and those who need something to eat.

Satchel: an online photo-journaling platform and technologically enhanced dinner table, allows you to easily and consistently create and publish photographs of reclaimed objects, a crucial element in spreading knowledge and awareness around waste oriented activities such as dumpster diving. A small collection of everyday objects made from discarded products and materials reveal the raw potential and beauty hidden within the things we have simply tossed away: a coffee table re-planed and fine sanded, a lamp fixture rebuilt to be mobile, a bicycle’s paint stripped to expose the brass lug brazing. Practical and functional objects, created from unwanted things, and somehow given a special quality you can’t find on a store’s shelves.

Next time you’re reading blogs for inspiration, try hitting the bins. Immerse yourself intimately in the world of what we’ve created and how it comes out the other end.

Advisor: Dennis Paul