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  • 06.16.10

3-D Printing From Beyond the Grave: Household Items Made From Dead People

From the Dutch design firm Studio Wieki Somers come household objects made out of human ashes. Yes, human ashes. As in John Steegman (b. 1939, d. 1985), who is now a vacuum cleaner: Pietertje Vos (b. 1942, d. 2007), now a scale:

3-D Printing From Beyond the Grave: Household Items Made From Dead People
Studio Wieki Somers

From the Dutch design firm Studio Wieki Somers come household objects made out of human
ashes. Yes, human ashes. As in John Steegman (b. 1939, d. 1985), who is now a
vacuum cleaner:

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Studio Wieki Somers

Pietertje Vos (b. 1942, d. 2007), now a scale:

Studio Wieki Somers

And Anne Lindeboom (b. 1920, d. 1984), a toaster:

Studio Wieki Somers

Somers
thinks there’s too much conspicuous consumption in the world, so by
turning grandpa into a vacuum cleaner or a rocking chair or whatever,
she hopes we become more attached to our stuff. No one would throw out
a family member’s ashes. Why toss a dusty old toaster?

The
scary thing: Technology’s actually making this possible. Somers created
the objects on a 3-D printer. (Where she got the ashes, we have no
idea, but we’re, um, dying to know.)

Studio Wieki Somers

Clearly, the project’s
meant to freak people out and Somers doesn’t really think we should heat
Pop-Tarts with dead bodies. (At least we hope not.) In any case, her
point is a good one. “A dilemma that questions us most, is the way
technology (or humanity) has made it possible to extend our lives
almost endlessly,” she says. “But what is an eternal life good for if
we use it only to continue being excessive consumers who strive for
more and more products, regardless of the consequences?” Great question.
Just don’t bring us back as a toilet plunger.

[Images courtesy of Studio Wieki Somers]

About the author

Suzanne LaBarre is the editor of Co.Design. Previously, she was the online content director of Popular Science and has written for the New York Times, the New York Observer, Newsday, I.D.

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