H5N8 avian flu decimated chicken flocks in the Netherlands, but van Spronsen found the good in the waste. She heated the carcasses to 70 degrees celsius for three seconds to clean out the virus and then played around with different ways to use the chicken parts. The artist tried out leather from the feet, bone ash turned into ceramic and feather composites.

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The most striking of these designs are the H5N8 stool made from dyed chicken feathers set in resin and a striking urn made out of cremated chicken ash and clay. The stool appears to have a fluffy cushion for sitting on, but the design is actually hard and fixed. The urn was created to resemble the H5N8 virus.

“It’s the ultimate waste of our overproduction, and the chicken itself is neglected completely,” van Spronsen said. “So I brought a last homage to these H5N8 bird flu chickens, by transforming them into design materials and ultimately by designing objects with the materials.”

The project was completed as part of van Spronsen’s thesis and was displayed during Dutch Design Week 2015.

+ Emilie van Spronsen

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