‘Are you waste, or are you compost?’ Probably not a question you’ve answered before, but it’s a question designer Bob Hendrikx is asking of us all with his ‘living coffin’. Loop is the world’s first fully biodegradable casket made out of mycelium fungi. It takes only 7 days to grow and shape a complete living coffin, in a sustainable process that uses no heat or energy. Once buried, these coffins turn into compost within 6 weeks, continually feeding the soil for up to 3 years as it decomposes. This makes Loop an appealing alternative to conventional burial methods, which can actually lead to soil degradation and groundwater pollution.
“Our solution originated from thinking out of the perspective of the organism instead of the human: nature-centered design. What if we move from working with dead materials to collaborating with living organisms? The most innovative aspect of our invention is the fact that it is alive, thereby being unique within the field of biofabrication and design. With this new approach not only our parasitic relationship is restored, as humans we are also rewarded with new undiscovered characteristics, a coffin that is actually breathing, growing during the whole process and most important of all: able to remove toxins from the body and soil and allowing new life to thrive.”
By simply following the fundamentals of nature this product was invented. Mycelium is nature’s largest recycler, transforming dead organic matter and turning it into key plant food, a wonderful closed-loop system. An underground living organisms that wishes to recycle us… the Living Coffin was born. The idea has gone viral all over the world in outlets ranging from NY Post, Guardian, BBC, Dezeen to BBC news etc.. We have showed humanity that this is our opportunity to no longer accept to leave our planet and loved ones with a scar but actually enrich life after death.”
Catch Bob on the mainstage (Rabozaal) – see full programme.
WINNER OF THE NO WASTE CHALLENGE
Living Coffin is one of the winners of What Design Can Do’s No Waste Challenge, which was launched earlier this year together with IKEA Foundation, to tackle one of the most pressing issues of our time: waste.