Trash Mandala

[Image: By Jeffrey Inaba/C-LAB].

Jeffrey Inaba and C-LAB have created this mandala of consumption, refuse, and plastic waste, with one side dedicated to the “hydration compulsion” that helps puts millions of one-use bottles in places bottles aren’t meant to be.

[Image: By Jeffrey Inaba/C-LAB].

There is even a deity of hydration, tempting us with its multi-limbed assortment of tasty beverages.

[Image: By Jeffrey Inaba/C-LAB].

But it’s all part of a new project meant to rethink waste management infrastructure, complete with ironic and colorfully alluring designs for private trash cans.

In this project, the trashcan has been redesigned, and mostly over-designed, to celebrate the taste of suburban culture and to give a form to the can that describes the processes of use, disposal, and management of the things we trash.

The project is thus a look at “our eco-era obsessions that generate trash: the simultaneous rise in environmental awareness and in disposable cleaning goods… the simultaneous rise in global water awareness and the generation of water bottle waste… We made a series of suburban style trash cans to describe these contradictory tendencies.”

The project goes on display today at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis.

[Images: By Jeffrey Inaba/C-LAB].

Read BLDGBLOG’s interview with Inaba here.

10 thoughts on “Trash Mandala”

  1. yeah, I met Jeffrey And sciarc studio) here in Mumbai a couple months ago. We have plenty of both Mandalas and trash, he must have just put the two together..
    The funny thing is they put pictures of Buddha, Ganesh and others on walls (as tiles) to keep people from spitting and trowing trash in that particular place. It actually works amazingly… definitely better then having a police officer right there (who is just as likely to defecate there as well)

    …Anyways… The Recycling mandala is great! There needs to be some sort of religious or spiritual connection with the current imbalance of the ever-collecting human waste worldwide. because laws, economics, and taxes, simply aren’t working well enough. And that of course works out with the re-incarnation thing too. I have no idea what the Christian suburban equivalent to the mandala would be? bag on a Crucifix?

  2. Sorry, the 10 Quick Links will be back – there was just something wrong with my feed this morning and so it was only sending my most popular unbundled tags through to be posted… I’ll try it again in a few hours.

    I miss them, too!

  3. okay, these trash cans are beautifully painted. But I live in Kansas, and calling these containers re-designed is a little much. Don’t get me wrong, the idea is there, but these are the same EXACT trash containers I have in my back alley; and again, I live in Kansas. The idea of illustrating consumption is great. But this project, I think as a design issue, could be more ambitious. We live in a very globalized world, where solutions can come on both a regional and a GLOBAL level.
    The containers are just decorated versions of what we have here in the states – which is one of the most wasteful places on earth. I don’t know how the waste management situation is in India, but I suspect that with over a billion people it’s pretty bad. And with one of the top two most populous countries on earth, following our disposal methods in the USA is a problem. Here we either bury or float our refuse, and if that’s what India is doing…uh oh. Given their waste per person is undoubtedly much lower than ours, it will still build up fast.

    I don’t know where to stop or start on these issues, they’re obviously grand, and I’m obviously drunk. But painting a few trash cans and putting them in a gallery isn’t solving any problems on a large scale. Sorry if I’m being an asshole. I just think that someone much more clever than I could come up with a better solution to trash in India, and the States for that matter.

    Jesus I’m embarrassed, but I’ve typed too much to not post this.

  4. Talk about pimping your recycling bins. I love it. I wish I could get some of those for my University campus – students would be lining up to recycle their cans and bottles.

    Well done!

  5. oops, I think as I read this drunk as hell last night, I didn’t absorb much of the text from the article. I missed the actual scope and intent of the project. Brings to light some interesting issues though.

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