#CleverConcept: 🍧🍧🍧🍧🍧🍧🍧🍧 8/10
As the days get hotter and our thirst gets bigger, there’s nothing like an ice cold popsicle to refresh us amidst the heat. Whilst these ice lollies look just as good as the strawberry/watermelon/lime creations we’re used to, they’re actually made of something VERY different.
These popsicles are made of sewage.
Errrrr… my appetite just took a U-turn.
You read that right. Sewage. Those little floaty bits aren’t black sesame, goji berry, or chia. It’s sewage.
How’s that for a plot twist?
Three students from the National Taiwan University of Arts, Hung I-chen, Guo Yi-hui, and Cheng Yu-ti, collected sewage from 100 places around Taiwan. Freezing the polluted waters they sampled (complete with whatever accessories they entailed), they then made popsicle replicas using transparent polyester resin. And the results really make you look twice.
But… but they look so good…
Shaped in that stereotypical ice lolly form, the yellow-y grey pollution popsicles come served on a wooden stick just as we know it.
If you look closely you can observe various detritus from the waters, such as pieces of plastic, algae, or even the odd clothes peg.
What’s more, the students even designed individual wrappers influenced by the locations where the sewage samples were taken. The packaging looks super millennial and very trendy. If we didn’t know better, we’d think they’re a super artisanal super swanky dessert on the must-eat list of every budding foodie blog.
They’re certainly very Instagrammable, but they hold an alarming message that goes far beyond getting a couple likes.
In conversation with Mashable, Hung states that the team is looking to raise awareness about the importance of clean water. “Popsicles are mostly water. Having pure water, a clean water source, is actually very important. When people look at these popsicles – they may look nice, but they portray a different, scary reality.”
“Houjin River Popsicle”
And all popsicle comparisons aside, these pieces do portray an alarming state of water.
Taiwan has long been battling rubbish and human detritus in their water sources, and whilst sampling for their project, the three students found much of it. Roughly 90% of the rubbish they found was plastic. This denotes humans throwing away old plastic bags, bottles, and various other non-recyclable goods into waterways.
It’s a worrying concern, one which the students hope their project will shed more light on. Alongside the popsicles, they provided a visual directory listing what each one contains. Down to all the very gory details.
And gory is a good word. After being showcased at a design event in Taipei, visitors were simultaneously impressed with the concept, yet disgusted at what it was made of. After all, it’s a trippy thought to think of your dear drippy summer popsicle as sewage on a stick. Even worse, for those who make popsicles themselves, it’s an alarming stop sign.
Whilst we marvel at the beauty of these polluted ices, perhaps we need to stretch our minds even further and wonder how beautiful they could be if they were made with clear waters. Because that kind, that kind we know is worth a delicious lick in the summer time.