Intent: Help people in a highly mechanized and “packaged” world understand how things are made and where they come from so that the resources involved can be cared for by enlightened, informed people.
PIG 05049 is a communications design developed in three years of research to track all the products made from a single pig.
05049 was an actual pig, raised and slaughtered on a commercial farm in the Netherlands. Rotterdam designer Christien Meindertsma was shocked to discover that she could document 185 products contributed to by the animal.
Meindertsma’s design includes the publication of her book, PIG 05049, which charts and pictures each of the products supported by the animal. The surprise is in the fact that elements of production contributed to by pig farming include not only predictable foodstuffs – pork chops and bacon – but far less expected non-food items: ammunition, train brakes, automobile paint, soap and washing powder, bone china, cigarettes.
The book is primarily a visual statement, keeping text to a minimum. It makes no comment on such potentially contentious issues as the conditions under which commercial farm animals are handled or the context in which various religious and other parts of society see the pig. Instead, Meindertsma says she finds the main interest in her project in its implications for conservation efforts. “In taking good care of the Earth, basically, the first step is knowing where our things come from,” she says.
INDEX: juror John Heskett, Chair Professor of Design at Hong Kong Polytechnic, says, “I remember some students of mine in Chicago many years ago going out and doing projects with children in Chicago’s Southside, the poor area, and finding that the children had no consciousness of chickens as creatures – as living, vital creatures. They just thought it somehow comes from the factory wrapped in a plastic bag, and that’s it.”
INDEX:Award recipient Christien Meindertsma of Rotterdam says, “There are very many steps between the raw material and the end product in modern commercial production. And because there are so many steps in between, the knowledge gets lost. For instance, the pig farmers also don’t know all the end-products that are made from their pigs because they just don’t know where it goes.”
In producing a book on her work, Meindertsma says she had in mind the concept of a time capsule, something that might be dug up in a hundred years and reveal something of how we lived at this time.
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Christien Meindertsma announced that the whole book will be available online so many more people will can read it. “A book is a difficult project to communicate. You have to look inside it,” explained Christine Meindertsma, who will be using the rest of the prize money developing more communication design.“I am working on a new communication project, which is a series of coloring books, which each show and individual farm and the people who work there. I am really looking forward to being able to finish that.”
Christien Meindertsma, Rotterdam, The Nederlands