Exhibiting Chiefs of Waste at DDW 2019

The installation Chiefs of Waste, by Shay Raviv and Dorota Gazy from STBY, presents a global investigation delving into the ever-changing worlds of waste pickers in Mexico City and Bangalore, uncovering the networks, actors and structures that span the blurry lines between formal and informal systems. The exhibition is on show during the Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven from 19 October until 27 October 2019.

Chiefs of Waste is part of the exhibition GEO—DESIGN JUNK: All That Is Solid Melts into Trash curated by Martina Muzi and Joseph Grima. This exhibition, produced in collaboration with the Van Abbe Museum, showcases eighteen thought-provoking design research projects by Design Academy Eindhoven alumni. STBY’s design researchers Shay Raviv and Dorota Gazy both graduated from the Design Academy Eindhoven, and collaborated with our Reach partners Studio José de la O in Mexico City and Quicksand in Bangalore to investigate local waste realities.

Left: Studio Pim Top, Right: Studio José de la O, Quicksand

The blurry lines between between formal and informal systems 

Waste-pickers perform between 50 and 100 percent of waste collection in most cities in developing countries, according to the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat). This informal way of waste management fills the gap where official systems are failing, and provides a livelihood for millions of people.

There are an estimated 15 million waste pickers currently operating around the world. Traditionally seen as tokens of the informal economy and often stigmatised, over the past ten years they have begun to organise themselves, seeking recognition, protection and workers’ rights. However, there are downsides to becoming a more regulated industry.

Using objects to expose complex structures 

In collaboration with our Reach partners Studio José de la O and Quicksand, STBY conducted a global investigation that delves into the changing worlds of waste pickers in Mexico City and Bangalore. Together we uncovered the networks, actors and structures that span the blurry lines between formal and informal systems. Using objects to represent complex organisations and relationships, the project gathers together a selection of artefacts used by waste pickers as well as a series of stories that accompany them.

As gateways to a deeper understanding of wider systems, the harvested artefacts were then combined to create portraits of previously elusive organisational work. In doing so, the exhibit seeks to illuminate the real stories of waste pickers and their struggle to be accepted as important actors in the waste economy. Presented in a commercial space – the shop Sissy Boy situated across Design Academy Eindhoven,  where products that are made across the globe are sold, the project seeks to provoke a wider assessment of the relationship between production, consumption and waste.

Join us at the opening! 

Visit Chiefs of Waste during Dutch Design Week 2019 in Sissy Boy [Nieuwe Emmasingel 2]. GEO—DESIGN JUNK will be opened on Saturday 19 October 2019. The exhibition takes place at ten locations across the city of Eindhoven. Nine projects will be shown in the Van Abbemuseum (until 17 November 2019) and, with the support of BIZ Eindhoven, and nine projects will be shown during Dutch Design Week at various locations in the city centre –  Sissy-Boy, Rambam, HEMA, ING Bank, De Bijenkorf, Hutspot, Vielgut, Deense Kroon and TigerLily.

More information on the exhibition GEO—DESIGN JUNK: All That Is Solid Melts into Trash

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