Factum Mortalitatis.

About the Project

Mortality is one of the taboo topics of contemporary life. However, the project does not use the term to refer to death, but to the process of life - an inevitable ongoing process of change.

The project tries to create a new approach to the topic through the human-object relationship.  Behind this is the conviction that a conscious confrontation with one's own mortality leads to humbleness, which is the basic requirement for solving the complex social, ecological and political problems of contemporary times.

Bachelor thesis with Lara Weller, 2018

Product Design (BA)

HfG Schwäbisch Gmünd

The basis of the thesis is about mortality from an individual’s standpoint and uses one’s conscious intercourse with mortality as a resource which can affect one’s attitude towards life. This stage of mind can influence our whole life and our environment. In the theoretical part, the project divides the scope of action in three parts. The Individual, Consumption and Nature. There are two constants that play a role in all three parts – time and value. Time defines our lives from beginning to end. Furthermore it is the only constant we can actually influence by using our lifetime for things we like to do. This is the way we bring value to our lives. Although value defines on one hand our time and relationships, and on the other hand our products and materialized things that can be bought with money. The strategy of the thesis is to influence the user in an exhibition space. Six objects are representing the three scopes with each two examples. The objects should remind and inform the user about their personal mortality and how they influence their surroundings and the world. All objects reveal certain notions of their own mortality.

The Individual is questioning facts of individualism, self-perception and self-expression as well as lifetime management.

The denture is asking the viewer what to think about self-expression. For this question it uses the fact of the risen life expectancy and the difference between agile old people, and frail old people. The agile old people want to express themselves differently, to show an obvious contrast to frail people. The project is exaggerating this fact by using a symbol of teenagers – the braces – together with general a symbol for old people – the dental prosthesis.

The mirror reflects the way our self-perception changes over the course of our lives.

The older we get, the better we know our nature and what we need in life. In this process, the visual significance of our body decreases. Hence, the mirror aims to symbolise all the new facets and distortion that come with ageing.

The Consumption is showing critically our behaviour with fast changing trends, working life of products and our relation to marketing strategies.

All products launched in the EU need to fulfil the requirement of the statutory warranty. This means, that products need to function for two years minimum. It became more a more popular for producers to only fulfil the two-year-requirement. Products are breaking often after exactly after two years. This is being called planned obsolescence. The lamp shows the aspect of breaking after the two-year-warranty by destroying itself. That time passes by is being visualised by the drawstring getting continuously shorter – this process cannot be stopped.

Nowadays trends are changing very fast. Customers react mostly to these trends, to be fashionable. The need of these products is a capitalist invention by the advertising industry. Resulting in bad quality, environmentally harmful production and tremendous amounts of waste on landfills. The cabinet uses the aspect of fast-changing trends in a positive way with changeable ornaments. The user can transform the appearance of the cabinet whenever desired - but any change to the ornaments is irreversible.

Nature's system only works in balance. However, humans exploit this system without giving anything back. To counteract this, nature is constantly developing new mechanisms. These are only possible entirely without humans, or with their help. Moss and lichen grow on the shelf and slowly decompose the wood - but only if the user waters it regularly or leaves it to nature.

The Nature is questioning our interaction and view on nature. Humans destroy and exploit the natural balance, because they do not see themselves as part of it.

Biodegradable plastic is getting more and more popular. Due to the mass of non-recyclable waste, new ways of production and return are in need of development. The converter shows a possible way to transform biodegradable plastic into edible substance. This is done by microbes inside the converter. Both problems of waste management and starvation could be both solved with this critical-design concept.

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Jan-Micha Gamer

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The Individual is questioning facts of individualism, self-perception and self-expression as well as lifetime management.
The Consumption is showing critically our behaviour with fast changing trends, working life of products and our relation to marketing strategies.
The Nature is questioning our interaction and view on nature. Humans destroy and exploit the natural balance, because they do not see themselves as part of it.