Urine Ware is a series of vessels inspired by the shape of the human bladder and laboratory flasks that utilises actual urine to create the ceramic glaze, created by Central Saint Martin’s MA Material Futures graduate Sinae Kim.
As a material designer and researcher, Sinae often explores the relationship of science and craft through experimental process. She pursues provocative ways of challenging social barriers between the potential use of materials and how people perceive them. Working with bodily fluids and waste, and turning them into something useful and productive, has been part of an ongoing theme of her designs.
Whilst embarking on her initial research for this collection, she asked herself the question ‘why human urine matters?’. Part of the answer to this question was that in a post-industrial society we have simply forgotten the benefits and potential for human urine; which previously would have been used for planting, cleansing, therapeutic medicine, teeth whitening and tanning leather.
Sinae Kim is also not alone in exploring the potential of human waste, in particular urine, with the likes of NASA and the Bill Gates Foundation exploring how to repurpose urine for drinking water and biofuels. HRE AFTA has also looked at ways we may want to reimagine this waste product as a potential, and plentiful resource to support our booming global population; and has previously presented on the subject during its 2017-18 ‘slow trends’ presentation.
What is interesting about this project, is that through innovative design and research, a more sustainable and better product has been created, with a glaze that is made from the minerals found in urine offering a much more natural alternative to the metal oxide glazes frequently found in ceramics. Something that Sinae wants to develop further, by creating a range of stunning colour palettes, that will continue to challenge our concept of urine.