The ‘How Come’ show at London Design Week showcased an array of great sustainable designs this year, but the one that really caught our eye was a display by designer Carmen Shiu called ‘repair the industry,’ consisting of tattered everyday objects repaired by using beautiful pieces of porcelain. We love how the little detail of adding a piece of painted porcelain enriches otherwise mundane objects like glasses and cups, giving them a totally new personality.
Based on the up-valuing concept of the traditional Japanese pottery fixing skill, “Kintsugi,” this project aims to raise awareness of industrial waste. According to Shiu, people often assume that ceramics are biodegradable and will perish after being dumped in a landfill. This is not true, the biggest proof being the ceramic pots that have been dug out of the ground dating back to almost 4000 BC.
That makes Shiu’s work even more radical: she is combining two things that you would otherwise be thrown away to produce a beautiful product. But we’re still left with one nagging question question: How does one break the porcelain piece to exactly fit into the broken edge of the object?