Spoiled meat never looked so good. During Dutch Design Week, Atelier Monté debuted a collection of three pendant lamps constructed from salvaged meat to highlight the wanton attitudes consumers have towards food waste. By processing expired supermarket cuts using a methodology from “the latest research on tissue regeneration,” Monté creates a new material out of what would normally be considered food waste. “The meat loses its cellular content, turns transparent white, feels rubbery,” the designer writes, and “can be shaped, dried, glued, dyed and stretched.”
Monté’s Meat Marble lighting took the form of E.Coli, that nasty bacteria that not only causes meat spoilage but also food poisoning. By confronting visitors with a material and form that would normally be repugnant, the designer encourages engagement with the issue.
The amount of resources to produce meat is exorbitant—that quarter-pounder took almost 500 gallons of water to make, not counting the cheese— and to waste meat by tossing after the resources invested in creating it can feel vulgar. Monté hopes that his project will call attention to the issue by creating a new aesthetic, a meat aesthetic, that can bring the issue to the forefront of conversation. Beyond lighting, Meat Marble has also inspired the designer to explore other forms include table-top vessels.