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PLANTERS OF DOOM: biodegradable seedling starters inspired by a bloody video game. 


I. The Memory: When prompted to create a paper good from a happy memory, I fondly looked back at the many times I watched my father traverse the pixelated world of DOOM, one of the first first-person-shooter video games.  He would click-clack away on our ancient Windows keyboard trying to dodge the fireballs of imps and searching for the next door key.  Sometimes I would try to play but alas, my clumsy, underdeveloped coordination prevented me from flourishing. So, I sat back and played copilot by helping him navigate DOOM’s maze-like levels. Together we would destroy hordes of cacodemons (all 10 pixels of them) and explore the martian landscape.  It was a wholesome time of father-daughter demon killing.


a cacodemon

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II. Product: In the fertile ground of functional paper objects, the memory grew into PLANTERS OF DOOM.

Featuring trash paper pulp dyed with turmeric and beets, the planters are ideal for the savvy home gardener who’s looking for a sustainable and efficient solution to starting seeds.  The pots are designed to house seedlings until they sprout and will biodegrade once planted in the dirt– no transplant needed. Inspired by the ~interior decoration~ of DOOM's halls, the planters are a celebration of nature through the mammalian form, plant life, and a zero-waste approach to creation!

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III. But Like Why: Ceramic planters come in all different forms and colors to cater to different consumer tastes; they are permanent plant furniture that are meant to be beheld forever.  Seedling starter forms on the market are no more than what their function requires; they are temporary pots meant to disappear in dirt eventually.  Both of these plant products perform their purpose, but there are so few choices in appearance of the latter.  Are those short moments of existence above the ground not worth being as interesting as their permanent counterparts??

PLANTERS OF DOOM argue that there is merit in the beauty of fleeting objects.

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biodegradable seel pots

IV. Process: With the notion of a product that would last, I started by experimenting with ways paper could be made durable (layering and gluing, crumpled and tightly packed, etc).  The paper did not want to be durable, so I wanted them to rot in the ground... as carriers of new plant life.

The challenge was to design my memory of DOOM into the planter without interfering with its ability to withstand moist soil before being fully planted.  A spine was a subtle solution to this dilemma, complete with a hint of creep to echo the game.

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Making the pots required pulverizing paper trash and creating a custom mold.  Different batches of pulp were blended with beets, beet leaves, and turmeric for a variety of colors and textures.  The pulp was then pushed against the mold and removed to dry.

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Thanks for checking out my trash paper!!

- Leah

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