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Human as Resource Production Cycle

Joeke van der Veen


Human as Resource
Lifestyle & design

The textile industry transformed from a local industry in the 17th and 18th century into a huge industry, detached from the Western society, in the 19th and 20th century. The high demand for fabric and clothes caused an excessive growth in child labor, pollution and degradation of natural resources.

The contemporary wool industry causes much pollution. Harmful detergents and non-biodegradable solvents used during wool scouring and dyeing processes lead to soil and water pollution. The project Human as Resource aims to find alternative materials and resources for the processes of wool scouring and dyeing. It introduces the human body as a source of materials by investigating the possibility of using human materials (materials that the body produces) for production processes.

The main focus is on 'menschenwater', also known as urine. In the 17th and 18th century, this human material was already valued for its cleansing power by the wool industry. Human urine was used for its bleaching and degreasing effect to wash wool.

But Human as Resource goes beyond offering alternative materials. It generates a radical shift in our view on the human body. Instead of flushing down your urine, throwing away your hair and cutting off your nails, you can harvest these materials and use them for a greater good.