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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:

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]