Dezeen Magazine

Shit Show exhibition by Fides La

Shit Show at Dutch Design Week captured in Dezeen video

Dezeen has filmed an Instagram reel showcasing an exhibition by Dutch designer Fides Lapidaire about the benefits of using human waste as compost in the second of our three-part video series for Dutch Design Week.

Situated in Strijp-S, Ketelhuisplein – one of the main squares at annual design festival Dutch Design Week (DDW) – the Shit Show or "Broodje Poep" in Dutch is designed to "show how your shit can feed the world".

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The second video features an interview with designer Lapidaire

Social designer and curator of the Shit Show Lapidaire came up with the idea for the exhibition after learning about the benefits of using human poo to nourish crops.

She hopes the show will encourage people to overcome their fears of human poo and recognise its potential value in the food chain.

A sandwich truck at Dutch Design Week
Shit Show by Fides Lapidaire explores the potential of human waste. Photo is courtesy Dutch Design Week

"Everybody has been taught that shit is dirty and waste and because of that, on high policy levels they don't talk about shit," said Lapidaire in the Dezeen video.

"The knowledge is there, the technique is also there but what is stopping us is the mindset," she added. "So you need to tell the story and that's why we're here."

A patch of grass at an exhibition
The exhibition showcases how crops can be fertilised with human poo

At the exhibition, visitors could navigate their way through the different stages required to make food from human poo, from the point at which waste is flushed down the toilet to an edible snack.

It featured a toilet where visitors can donate their own poo, as well as a composting device called Symbiopunk by designer Rebecca Schedler where waste is broken down into compost.

Elsewhere, a food truck sold "shit sandwiches" – crackers topped with beetroot and hummus grown from crops that feed on human waste.

Also on view as part of Shit Show was Compost Kliko, a portable toilet that harvests human waste by Makknik & Bey design studio, which presents as an alternative to traditional toilets.

Designer Bram de Vos' Uprooting Agro Systems showcased how neighbourhoods in the Waterland, Amsterdam-Noord, could convert their current decentralised sewer system into one that collects human manure to turn into valuable compost for local farms.

Visitors at a food stall at Dutch Design Week
Visitors could eat sandwiches made with Lapidaire's human compost

"Shit Show is not just designers, it's really a collaboration between multiple disciplines from scientists to entrepreneurs to policymakers," Lapidaire explained.

A number of other exhibitions and installations as well as panel discussions and networking events took place alongside the Shit Show at this year's Dutch Design Week across Eindhoven, the Netherlands, which Dezeen rounded up in its first video in the series.

These included The Solar Pavillion by Marjan van Aubel and V8 Architects and Design Academy Eindhoven's graduate show.

Dezeen is a partner for DDW and will be publishing video highlights from the festival throughout the month.

Photos are courtesy of Broodje Poep unless otherwise stated.

Dutch Design Week 2022 took place from 22 to 30 October in Eindhoven. See Dezeen Events Guide for information about the many other exhibitions, installations and talks taking place throughout the week.

Partnership content

This video was produced by Dezeen for Dutch Design Week as part of a partnership. Find out more about Dezeen partnership content here.