by , 11/30/06

Amy Young Digestive Table

Talk about a closed loop! Artist Amy Youngs has created a table that allows you to compost your dinner scraps without even leaving the table. Whatever you don’t eat, the bacteria, sowbugs and worms will comsume for you. Simply lift the lid in the center of the table and dump it in, and they’ll go to work. And when the critters are done, a rich compost squeezes right out the bottom like a loamy frosting for the plants at the base. Rather than staring at the tv while you eat, you can watch the LCD screen fit into the top of the table. An infrared camera will send images of the entire process for your viewing and digestive pleasure.

Constructed of FSC certified wood and stained with red cabbage, and, incredibly, worm compost tea, the piece almost seems to be a caricature of eco-earnestness. Like something you would see on a Saturday Night Live skit. I think, though, that the artist is sincere in her intentions and that the system is meant as a memento mori, placing us and our technology within the cycle of life.

Via treehugger

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  1. Our Tough Nature »... November 6, 2007 at 1:03 pm

    […] read more | digg story […]

  2. fakyr C May 29, 2007 at 9:11 am

    It’s so tasty to look on worns and bugs eating your breakfast while you are having your supper :)

  3. manda December 20, 2006 at 10:13 am

    great idea, as an idea, but in practise not so hot i’m thinking. I’ve tried many a home composting method and yes i get composty goodness, and great (stinky) plant feed, but I also get flies, hundreds of the horrors. So if you have no nose and are lonely and want some tiny black beasties that get all up in your face, get this table, if you don’t, stick your organic waste outside in the garden, it’s the best and only method i’d recommend.

  4. ken rinaldo December 13, 2006 at 8:26 pm

    Having lived with this table it does not stink at all. In fact it is quite peaceful to sit and watch the worms eating and the work is sanitary with no insects escaping. This is sort of a home processing factory of recyclables using techniques similar to Tom Szaky of TerraCycle products that dissolves worm poop in water to create plant food.

  5. Moo December 4, 2006 at 1:19 pm

    Wow, that’s such a . . . interesting idea. Personally I’d like the try it out. I live in an apartment and I’ve wanted to start up a compost pile for a while but as I said: apartment. It wouldn’t be in the best interest to my nose. Though even with this idea there’d still be a smell but at least it’s enclosed and sort of filtered.

    Mayhap it should come with an option? Like whether or not the TV comes with the table? Or is there an off switch? =P

  6. Sue Castillo December 1, 2006 at 2:32 pm

    Fascinating! Not that many people would choose to take their meals this way, but this is an art piece that makes a signficiant statement. I for one would like to try it, and feel that everyone who experiences it would look at food differently afterwards. Consumption, digestion, decay, and soil renewal are a fact of life, and this piece demonstratates it well.

  7. Brian Bostron December 1, 2006 at 1:43 pm

    This looks absolutely disgusting. You can watch the worms digesting the food and watch the compost drain out the bottom! I would rather eat my meal in a landfill. Where did you find this?

  8. Lori December 1, 2006 at 11:36 am

    While I like the idea of composting and natural construction , I think taking it away from the table where you eat, maybe on the wall or somewhere you could link the connection but not physically connect the two would have been great. On the other hand, this is art, and not functional furniture, so in that case, it portrays its message well. If it IS a “momento mori” like the article’s author suggests, it does a good job. And, well, I admit that seeing composting in action, while is somewhat nasty, would be something worth seeing at least one time in our lives. To see how we return to the earth and to see how much composting makes sense.

  9. Fad December 1, 2006 at 6:58 am

    Yami-yami! It’s so tasty to look on worns and bugs eating your breakfast while you are having your supper :))))))))))))))

  10. adam szczepanowski stoc... December 1, 2006 at 5:55 am

    i assume amy is very engaged in environmental issues, rightfully so!

    however eco design has to attract everyone, and we in the design community have to tread the thin line of eco-chic..the function of thoughtful eco/sustainable design, without provoking the reaction of ‘ugh!’ or beng branded as the stereotypical 1970s eco warrior….

    the timber used may be fsc certified, but you have chosen a rather high tech (high eco impact solution) for a very simple function-looking inside. i guess these components offset the balance in an LCA

    how about a product that instead helps us to prepare the correct quantity of food for our meals in the first place, thus helping the current probelm of weight in society, and reduce eco impact from producing and transporting foodstuffs that is just wasted and composted…

  11. michaelMD December 1, 2006 at 2:45 am

    I have a feeling the table will smell… in a way someone who smells it will never want to eat on the table ever again.

  12. Dominic in montreal December 1, 2006 at 12:50 am

    they had me until the tv screen. Is it some sort of awareness thing? You could just pop the lid?
    I think it would go well with the white table from a couple weeks ago with integrated plant pots.

  13. Jean-Michel Decombe November 30, 2006 at 9:51 pm

    Interestingly enough, the stool on which he’s sitting looks like a smaller version of the table. Oh, well…

  14. Evan Gould, Redondo Bea... November 30, 2006 at 7:27 pm

    Ewwww. Gross. Quirky and kind of interesting, but definitely gross.

  15. Lynn November 30, 2006 at 3:16 pm

    Oh…dear. It’s very interesting and all, and the table’s really quite pretty. But I don’t think I’d want to watch the composting process while I’m eating, Excellent concept, though!

  16. Jon November 30, 2006 at 12:14 pm

    Two letters come to mind. P and U.

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