The Landfill as a Museum

Grace Aaronson, Danielle Lotridge, Alec Zbornak, Alex Mingda Zhang


( Concept )

Everything decays, but what is preserved is a function of human choice. As an institution of object-driven knowledge, the museum collects, curates, and preserves waste. We believe that at its core, the landfill behaves in the same way: a collection of waste that can teach us about our culture and behaviour. Unlike the traditional institution, the community curates the landfill. Everyone has the opportunity to contribute an object, allowing those without privilege to share their knowledge.

Our proposed landfill-museums serve as permanent exhibits or transient installations in any place around the world, from cosmopolitan cities to small rural towns. When contributing to their local landfill, the visitor-curator has the opportunity to submit information about their object to an online database. Before they submit their information, they are presented with two types of guiding questions: those that prompt them to share personal stories about their object, and those that encourage reflection on the environmental impact of acquiring and discarding that object. In an effort to prioritize reducing our total consumption and waste, the landfill empowers visitors to re-evaluate the objects they consume, identify sustainable alternatives, and challenge institutions to consume less.

Project Team
Grace Aaronson, Danielle Lotridge, Alec Zbornak, Alex Mingda Zhang
Project Name
The Landfill as a Museum
Team Location
United States, New Haven (CT)
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