Breast milk booties: an investigation into 'waste' materials and the re-evaluation of meaning through the use of the communicative cultural archetype of shoes

Research output: Non-textual outputArtefactResearch

Abstract

These artefacts form part of the ongoing research with Gant (Sole Searching), that explores differing methodologies for the re-valuation of waste materials and the application, enhancement and exploitation of waste material narratives and meanings. The methodology tests industrial and public interest and engagement in the evaluation of meaningful and valued materials. The method(s) also function to promote the work of NGOs and charitable agencies who engage with and promote awareness of material ethics and sustainability – illustrating the communicative power of the materials. As artefacts, the ‘Breast Milk bootees’ distinctively explore material cultural taboos and deliberately exploit our natural empathy towards children, whilst simultaneously exposing our common aversion to human ‘waste’ materials. The bootees were used as a visual aid and 'meaningful material prop' in the mediation and promotion of the NHS and UK Breast Milk Bank and their campaign to recruit new donor mothers. The UK Milk Bank collect and use otherwise wasted breast milk from donor mothers to provide life saving sustenance to premature or very sick babies. The bootees are made from breast milk (caesin protein) provided and formed into moulds to represent the size of feet of very premature babies - for whom the UK Milk Bank collect breast Milk.The process required potential new donors to sign up and as a reward, they are offered a pair of the bootees made from their own milk and boots were also auctioned as a means to monitor their monetary value. The bootees were used by The NHS and the UK Milk bank to promote the International Breast Milk Donor Day and prompted numerous press and media features. The bootees also featured in a forecasting report for the world's largest trend forecasting agency, WGSN and the 'Meaning Making' exhibition at PUMA HQ, The WasteZone at Eco-build and they were exhibited and presented as part of a paper the ‘Praxis and Poetics’ and ‘making Futures’ Conference.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 16 May 2013
Eventother - Queen Charlotte's & Chelsea Hospital Milk Bank, 2013
Duration: 16 May 2013 → …

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evaluation
bank
baby
artifact
methodology
public interest
empathy
non-governmental organization
mediation
reward
exploitation
promotion
campaign
moral philosophy
sustainability
narrative
trend

Cite this

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title = "Breast milk booties: an investigation into 'waste' materials and the re-evaluation of meaning through the use of the communicative cultural archetype of shoes",
abstract = "These artefacts form part of the ongoing research with Gant (Sole Searching), that explores differing methodologies for the re-valuation of waste materials and the application, enhancement and exploitation of waste material narratives and meanings. The methodology tests industrial and public interest and engagement in the evaluation of meaningful and valued materials. The method(s) also function to promote the work of NGOs and charitable agencies who engage with and promote awareness of material ethics and sustainability – illustrating the communicative power of the materials. As artefacts, the ‘Breast Milk bootees’ distinctively explore material cultural taboos and deliberately exploit our natural empathy towards children, whilst simultaneously exposing our common aversion to human ‘waste’ materials. The bootees were used as a visual aid and 'meaningful material prop' in the mediation and promotion of the NHS and UK Breast Milk Bank and their campaign to recruit new donor mothers. The UK Milk Bank collect and use otherwise wasted breast milk from donor mothers to provide life saving sustenance to premature or very sick babies. The bootees are made from breast milk (caesin protein) provided and formed into moulds to represent the size of feet of very premature babies - for whom the UK Milk Bank collect breast Milk.The process required potential new donors to sign up and as a reward, they are offered a pair of the bootees made from their own milk and boots were also auctioned as a means to monitor their monetary value. The bootees were used by The NHS and the UK Milk bank to promote the International Breast Milk Donor Day and prompted numerous press and media features. The bootees also featured in a forecasting report for the world's largest trend forecasting agency, WGSN and the 'Meaning Making' exhibition at PUMA HQ, The WasteZone at Eco-build and they were exhibited and presented as part of a paper the ‘Praxis and Poetics’ and ‘making Futures’ Conference.",
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