A 2021 graduate from the Material Futures MA course at Central Saint Martins, Ruta has been meticulously documenting her personal waste, putting samples in jars and labelling them, and then feeding them fungi to see what would break down. "Fungi are nature's great recyclers - they even break down tough materials like lignin and cellulose and can change their DNA to adapt to new conditions - for example, if plastic is the only available food..." Ruta's research reveals the scale of the planet's waste problem. "An individual, living in a modern affluent society, over the course of their lifetime, will own several million artefacts. This incredible amount of things passing through our hands has to go somewhere, and most of it becomes waste. Each of us ‘throw away’ five times our bodyweight per year. By 2020, the mass of all human-produced materials had grown to equal the mass of all life on the planet.” See Ruta’s jars at GRAND DESIGNS LIVE and chat to the designer.