Sweep aside

Hohyun Nam

Public goods

Waste is a vast problem that keeps invading our environment, a pollutant that may destroy our living space. We believe that waste disposal is a sophisticated process that puts waste in isolation. However, waste keeps spreading around the environment that has been deliberately or accidentally released after its disposal. Therefore, what we believe about waste disposal is an apparent contradiction.

The environmental concern has long been raised, but we are not doing enough. Waste materials inside the gap between the sofa or under the bed reflect our attitudes towards waste and indicate the lack of consciousness. I believe laziness isn’t a valid reason to explain waste inside the gaps and cracks. It is an instinctive tendency to avoid irritating objects, by pretending that it does not exist. Waste inside the crack is nearly invisible and creates the misunderstanding that the waste has disappeared.

This isn’t merely an irresponsible behaviour, but it refers to the attempt to ignore or hide the waste problems inside the environment. Therefore, building landfills and dumping waste in waterways are the collective equivalent of an individual's waste inside the crack. We are trying to feel relieved by sweeping waste inside, to conceal the waste materials away from our focus, but deep down everyone is aware that the waste is building up beneath the boundaries between the cracks and living spaces and it will finally re-expose itself to us.

By designing the relationship between waste and us, especially what is inside the cracks, I define the waste materials as a very personal by-product so that its value and responsibility can’t be transferred to others. 

Using public waste for making public supplement furniture describes ‘Waste is public’. What we have to acknowledge is that the waste always belongs to the public, wherever we throw it away, we can not permanently conceal the waste. Project ‘Swept aside’ possibly provides the way how to co-exist, not sweeping it inside, but how to face them as a living object.