Product Design Direction: Compost Container

Product design direction for classroom compost container.

Don’t we all occasionally wonder how our trash evolves once we’ve tossed it into the rubbish heap? Imagine seeing the future life of each banana peel, magazine, and apple core you pitched.
 
The See-Through Compost Container was dreamed up by Nancy Balter and my task was to bring it to life. I worked with artist Matt Mance along with our factory’s sculptors to translate Nancy’s idea into physical form. The product is a sectioned plastic “box” with three compartments. Children and teachers fill each of the compartments up with soil, water, or sand and watch their trash degrade.
This product gives kids an underground view of their trash by illustrating the decomposition process. I worked with artist Matt Mance to bring the product to life. After receiving his drawings, I added highlights and shadows to the grass and bug sections so the factory would know how deep to sculpt the details.
 
The plastic molded base includes low relief bugs, roots, and pebbles to elicit the imaginary underground world beneath our feet. I’ve always wanted to take a trip to the core of the earth, and these tiny details sort of bring that memory back to me. Matt Mance drew these in pencil and the sculptor translated them into 3D.
Notice the holes in the lid…they’re for thermometers. The product includes three thermometers for kids to measure ground temperature. Apparently, as trash degrades, the soil heats up….a hot mess! In this photo I illustrate the grassy texture on the lid of the Compost Container…we opted for a random assortment of grass blades rather than a mowed golf course turf.

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