Sunday, April 08, 2012

Healing Fukushima (Nanohana Heels)

Masaya Kushino is a Japanese shoe designer well known for his Dada-esque heels adorned with horns, fake ponytails, peacock feathers and ornate gold framing. In conjuction with with artist-designer Sputniko! , they are working on a project to develope sky-high heels that automatically deposit rapeseeds in the ground as the wearer walks in them. Sputniko! discovered after visiting temporary housing in Fukushima that certain rapeseed " Brassica_napus or nanohana, helped remove the radionucleotides caesium-137 and strontium-90 from the soil. Apparently the plant stores these in the stalk and seed coat, but not in its seeds. The seeds of the rapeseed can be processed into industrial lubricants and cooking oil. The "Healing Fukushima (Nanohana Heels)" are part of a project to help rebuild Fukushima. The mechanical heels are still a work in progress but the prototype works from pressure from the movement wheich causes a tube within the heel to emerge. The compartment containing rapeseeds turns and a single seed emerges from the end of the tube. Lifting the foot starts the process again: Despite their apparent functionality, the towering work of art is intended to be a catalyst for discussion about rebuilding Fukushima rather than a practical farming tool. This summer the artists say they plan to release a new video about their work.

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