ANTHROPONIX: Upcycling Urine as Collective Design Practice

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingConference article published in proceeding or bookAcademic researchpeer-review


Integrative flourishing stems from patterns of eating, living, and engaging with the
world that promotes well-being and a healthy environment. For proliferating
integrative flourishing, we need to explore novel, design-led collaborations for
remaking artifacts and human organization. In this study, participants-cum-makers
fermented their urine for a substrate in which to grow lettuce (Lactuca sativa) and
thereby create a simple material relationship between their bodies and the plants.
Process documentation and interviews with the 22 participants evaluated the key
aspects that promoted their social engagement and thriving during the two-month
experiment. The analysis revealed how jointly encountered technical ambiguity
stimulated curiosity and how a unifying purpose promoted adaptive co-creation and
mutual support. In synergetic dynamics, these factors contributed to the integrative
flourishing in the waste upcycling collective. The findings indicate the importance of
recursive self-regulation following interaction with an ‘other’. The study outlines a
systemic model for practitioners’ use to orient collectivist design that positively
affects environmental relationships.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNERD 2 – New Experimental Research in Design 2
EditorsMichael Erlhoff, Wolfgang Jonas, Michelle Christensen
Place of PublicationBasel
PublisherBirkhauser Verlag Basel
Number of pages185
ISBN (Print)9783035623659
Publication statusPublished - 31 May 2021

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