Change for Rivers
Final Year Project
MA Material Futures
October 2019 — July 2020


Roles
Researcher
Materials Designer
Concept creation
Storyteller


A personal journey exploring how cleaning rivers can be more complicated then we might imagine.

This project represents my journey to explore whether industrial waste, a source of pollution, can be repurposed to create something of value. I have come to understand that cleaning up a waste system responsibly can be incredibly complex and energy intensive. In fact, the process required to clean a polluted river system may be so energy intensive and polluting that it is not viable from economic and sustainability perspectives. In the end, I created a DIY system to explore how one might extract the metals that are polluting UK rivers and have made a material representation of this industrial waste by creating a coin.
The front of my coin resembles the lagoons that are currently used for remediation to sore the contaminated mine water. On the back of the coin is the setting where I recreated a polluted river during lockdown – my bathtub. The coin materialises the land and symbolises what happens when economic activity is not balanced with environmental stewardship; it is a call to action for remediation.