The Cigarette Butts Committee reinterprets existing issues in a defamiliarised and humorous design form. The current situation of street cleaners is summarised as ‘unclear’ (the public is not clear about the work of the cleaners), ‘unclean’ (the working environment of the cleaners is filthy) and ‘unjust’ (the cleaners are treated unfairly). As designers in the community, we needed to break this predicament. We decided to drive change amongst the public by asking them to pay more attention to the cleaners.
It may seem absurd and funny to make collecting cigarette butts an Olympic event, but it is just as ridiculous in reality. Trillions of cigarette butts are discarded every year, either on the ground or in the sea. Should we simply accept this as a normality, or should we fight this absurdity with nothing less but absurdity? This medal ceremony may provide a glimpse of one of the possibilities.
“Everyone is a genius, don’t let short-term failures cast doubt on your talents. The only formula for success is to keep trying – the same goes for design. Just keep doing it, geniuses.”
“If trusting or untrusting everything turns to idleness, then try everything. Currently in the process.”
“‘Impossible’ is an excuse that most people give themselves. I believe that persistent effort can conquer any difficulty. Just keep going for the goal.”