Taihi is unique kitchen compost bin that provides users with a clean, smell free and easy to use method of dealing with household waste within the home. Using a Japanese method called Bokashi, Taihi composts waste much quicker and more effectively than traditional methods, with the aim of reducing the environmental impact of household waste in landfills.

Growing up in Ethiopia were nothing was ever wasted and very little of what was thrown away went into landfill shaped my perspective on environmentalism. When I returned to the UK, I was alarmed to see how much waste goes to landfill and how much of that potential waste could be reused to help gardens up and down the country. Through my research into this project I uncovered the huge environmental and financial impact of this waste this has in both transporting it to landfills and the methane it produces.

The minimalist style of the product grew out of a desire to reflect the clean and mess-free experience it provides, combined with simple and modest styling cues to indicate the Japanese methodology behind the product.

An 8 month long project, Taihi began with in-depth research and interviews to gather information, understand the problem and user needs, before moving into concept generation and sketching. Different features and forms were explored in 2D using both digital and traditional media. The best ideas from this phase were then taken forward into CAD software, where Solidworks was used to expand and combine these ideas into fully rounded concept.

This project also included a design for manufacture phase, where the design was developed into a fully manufacturable product, with an understanding of the manufacture process for each component and the material it would be produced from.

I was lucky enjoy to exhibit my work at both the Degree Show at Loughborough University and at the New Designers exhibition in London this year and the feedback from both the general public and people in industry has been so positive. The product aims to tackle a real problem that I think a lot people can relate to very easily – composting is such a messy, smelly process and that puts a lot people off it.

This project has also been a huge learning experience for me. Working on a project for this long really gives you the opportunity to expand your skills across the whole design process – from research, to sketching, to CAD modelling.

Ben Cullis

Product and Industrial Designer