Il Museo della Merda
During my visit to Orticolario 2017, I discovered a very particular museum: the “Shit Museum” (il Museo della Merda)!
The Shit Museum is a very impressive example of ecological and substainable economy.
The Shit Museum was founded in Lombardy in 2015 by the agricultural entrepreneur Gianantonio Locatelli and a group of associates: Luca Cipelletti, who manages its projects and products, Gaspare Luigi Marcone and Massimo Valsecchi.
In a farm located in Castelbosco, in the province of Piacenza, every day 3,500 specially selected cows produce around 50,000 litres of milk and 150,000 kilos of dung.
Under Locatelli’s management, this quantity of excreta started to be transformed into a futuristic ecological, productive and cultural project.
Using highly innovative systems, electrical energy started to be produced from the manure.
Today, the farm produces up to three megawatts per hour. The buildings and offices of the farm are heated exploiting the warmth given off by the digesters as they turn manure into energy.
Not to mention the fertiliser produced.
All these activities have drawn attention from various international institutions concerned with ecology and innovation, leading to widespread recognition and prizes, and making Castelbosco a point of reference.
Right from the start, the Shit Museum was designed to be a production centre not only of ideas and exhibitions, but also of objects and projects. Indeed, this is the key to it: there is no transformation without production.
In this sense, in its first year of existence, the invention and patenting of Merdacotta® is emblematic: a material which sums up the principle of sustainability and transmutation which underpin the scientific aims of the Museum. A material used to give shape to the first products to bear the Museo della Merda brand: vases, flowerpots, tiles, plates, bowls, a jug and a mug…
Here you can see the pot I’ve seen during my visit to Orticolario:
Simple, clean, rural shapes, the design of which does away with all frills, harking back to ancient principles.
They state that the substance is not in the shape but in the material they are made of: these are objects that redesign the cycle of nature in a virtuous circle, constituting essential elements of contemporary living.
The ‘primordial products’ of the Museum were presented for the first time during the 2016 Salone del Mobile in Milan, in an exhibition which won the promoters Cipelletti and Locatelli first prize in the Milano Design Award.
Well done, really well done!