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the alchemy of

essence

ruth m. sumner


the alchemy of Final design thesis November 2011 e s s e n c e Ruth M. Sumner Supervisors: Simon Fraser & Tim Miller


Published in 2011 by R. Sumner A Student of Industrial Design at Victoria University of Wellington. Project working blog: www.paradisereplugged.wordpress.com All images and text by Ruth Sumner, unless stated otherwise. USID: 300-06-208201-1 First Published 2011 Printed and Bound in New Zealand by Ruth Sumner Ltd., Te Aro, Wellington

Cover image: Condenser part, 2011. Computer Render.


Contents Preface

8

Introduction

10

Systems & Processes

12

Reductionism

24

Thermostat

30

Evaporator

38

Biomass Vessel

42

Condenser

46

Whole System

52

Value

57

Appendix

52

Bibliography

53


“Knowledge is a public good and increases in value as the number of people possessing it increases.� -J.Willbanks, Creative Commons.


Preface Essentialism: the notion that things have an underlying reality or true nature that one cannot observe directly and it is this hidden nature that really matters.” We are essentialists, and so all of us, even young children, think about the things that we own in terms of their hidden natures, including their histories. this essentialism explains what we like about everyday objects - and explains why some of these objects can give us rich and lasting pleasure.” p93, bloom -chapter: irresplacable. essentialism: the notion that things have an underlying reality or true nature that one cannot observe directly and it is this hidden nature that really matters.” ality or true nature that one cannot observe directly and it is this hidden nature that re-

We are essentialists, and so all of us, even young children, think about the things that we own in terms of their hidden natures, including their histories. this essentialism explains what we like about everyday objects - and explains why some of these objects can give us rich and lasting pleasure.” p93, bloom -chapter: irresplacable. are essentialists, and so all of us, even young children, think about the things that we own in terms of their hidden natures, including their histories. this essentialism explains what we like about everyday objects - and explains why some of these objects can give us rich and lasting pleasure.” p93, bloom -chapter: irresplacable. ality or true nature that one

the alchemy of essence

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Essentialism: the notion that things have an underlying reality or true nature that one cannot observe directly and it is this hidden nature that really matters.” We are essentialists, and so all of us, even young children,

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the alchemy of essence

Essentialism: the notion that things have an underlying reality or true nature that one cannot observe directly and it is this hidden nature that really matters.” We are essentialists, and so all of us, even young children, think about the things that we own in terms of their hidden natures, including their histories. this essentialism explains what we like about everyday objects - and explains why some of these objects can give us rich and lasting pleasure.” p93, bloom -chapter: irresplacable. essentialism: the notion that things have an underlying reality or true nature that one cannot observe directly and it is this hidden nature that really matters.” ality or true nature that one cannot observe directly and it is this hidden nature that re-


Introduction Essentialism: the notion that things have an underlying reality or true nature that one cannot observe directly and it is this hidden nature that really matters.” We are essentialists, and so all of us, even young children, think about the things that we own in terms of their hidden natures, including their histories. this essentialism explains what we like about everyday objects - and explains why some of these objects can give us rich and lasting pleasure.” p93, bloom -chapter: irresplacable. essentialism: the notion that things have an underlying reality or true nature that one cannot observe directly and it is this hidden nature that really matters.” ality or true nature that one cannot observe directly and it is this hidden nature that re-

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the alchemy of essence

We are essentialists, and so all of us, even young children, think about the things that we own in terms of their hidden natures, including their histories. this essentialism explains what we like about everyday objects - and explains why some of these objects can give us rich and lasting pleasure.” p93, bloom -chapter: irresplacable. are essentialists, and so all of us, even young children, think about the things that we own in terms of their hidden natures, including their histories. this essentialism explains what we like about everyday objects - and explains why some of these objects can give us rich and lasting pleasure.” p93, bloom -chapter: irresplacable. ality or true nature that one


Systems & Processes Essentialism: the notion that things have an underlying reality or true nature that one cannot observe directly and it is this hidden nature that really matters.” “essence may be taken for the being of any thing, whereby it is what it is. And thus, the real internal, but generally... unknown constitution of things, whereon their discoverable qualities depend, may be called their essence.” John Locke, 184, an essay concerning human understanding. We are essentialists, and so all of us, even young children, think about the things that we own in terms of their hidden natures, including their histories. this essentialism explains what we like about everyday objects - and explains why some of these objects can

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the alchemy of essence

ality or true nature that one cannot observe directly and it is this hidden nature that really matters.” ality or true nature that one cannot observe directly and it is this hidden nature that really matters.nding. We are essentialists, and so all of us, even young children, think about the things that we own in terms of their hidden natures, including their histories. this essentialism explains what we like about everyday objects - and explains why some of these objects can give us rich and lasting pleasure.” p93, bloom -chapter: irresplacable. We are essentialists, and so all of us, even young children, think about the things that we own in terms of their hidden


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the alchemy of essence


the alchemy of essence

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Essentialism: the notion that things have an underlying reality or true nature that one cannot observe directly and it is this hidden nature that really matters.� “essence may be taken for the being of any thing, whereby it is what it is. And thus, the real internal, but generally... unknown constitution of things, whereon their discover-


Reductionism Essentialism: the notion that things have an underlying reality or true nature that one cannot observe directly and it is this hidden nature that really matters.” “essence may be taken for the being of any thing, whereby it is what it is. And thus, the real internal, but generally... unknown constitution of things, whereon their discoverable qualities depend, may be called their essence.” John Locke, 184, an essay concerning human understanding. We are essentialists, and so all of us, even young children, think about the things that we own in terms of their hidden natures, including their histories. this essentialism explains what we like about everyday objects - and explains why some of these objects can

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the alchemy of essence

ality or true nature that one cannot observe directly and it is this hidden nature that really matters.” ality or true nature that one cannot observe directly and it is this hidden nature that really matters.nding. We are essentialists, and so all of us, even young children, think about the things that we own in terms of their hidden natures, including their histories. this essentialism explains what we like about everyday objects - and explains why some of these objects can give us rich and lasting pleasure.” p93, bloom -chapter: irresplacable. We are essentialists, and so all of us, even young children, think about the things that we own in terms of their hidden


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The Thermostat Essentialism: the notion that things have an underlying reality or true nature that one cannot observe directly and it is this hidden nature that really matters.” “essence may be taken for the being of any thing, whereby it is what it is. And thus, the real internal, but generally... unknown constitution of things, whereon their discoverable qualities depend, may be called their essence.” John Locke, 184, an essay concerning human understanding. We are essentialists, and so all of us, even young children, think about the things that we own in terms of their hidden natures, including their histories. this essentialism explains what we like about everyday objects - and explains why some of these objects can

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the alchemy of essence

ality or true nature that one cannot observe directly and it is this hidden nature that really matters.” ality or true nature that one cannot observe directly and it is this hidden nature that really matters.nding. We are essentialists, and so all of us, even young children, think about the things that we own in terms of their hidden natures, including their histories. this essentialism explains what we like about everyday objects - and explains why some of these objects can give us rich and lasting pleasure.” p93, bloom -chapter: irresplacable. We are essentialists, and so all of us, even young children, think about the things that we own in terms of their hidden


Essentialism: the notion that things have an underlying reality or true nature that one cannot observe directly and it is this hidden nature that really matters.” We are essentialists, and so all of us, even young children, think about the things that we own in terms of their hidden natures, including their histories. this essentialism explains what we like about everyday objects - and explains why some of these objects can give us rich and lasting pleasure.” p93, bloom -chapter: irresplacable. essentialism: the notion that things have an underlying reality or true nature that one cannot observe directly and it is this hidden nature that really matters.” ality or true nature that one cannot observe directly and it is this hidden nature that re-

We are essentialists, and so all of us, even young children, think about the things that we own in terms of their hidden natures, including their histories. this essentialism explains what we like about everyday objects - and explains why some of these objects can give us rich and lasting pleasure.” p93, bloom -chapter: irresplacable. are essentialists, and so all of us, even young children, think about the things that we own in terms of their hidden natures, including their histories. this essentialism explains what we like about everyday objects - and explains why some of these objects can give us rich and lasting pleasure.” p93, bloom -chapter: irresplacable. ality or true nature that one

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The Evaporator Essentialism: the notion that things have an underlying reality or true nature that one cannot observe directly and it is this hidden nature that really matters.” “essence may be taken for the being of any thing, whereby it is what it is. And thus, the real internal, but generally... unknown constitution of things, whereon their discoverable qualities depend, may be called their essence.” John Locke, 184, an essay concerning human understanding. We are essentialists, and so all of us, even young children, think about the things that we own in terms of their hidden natures, including their histories. this essentialism explains what we like about everyday objects - and explains why some of these objects can

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the alchemy of essence

ality or true nature that one cannot observe directly and it is this hidden nature that really matters.” ality or true nature that one cannot observe directly and it is this hidden nature that really matters.nding. We are essentialists, and so all of us, even young children, think about the things that we own in terms of their hidden natures, including their histories. this essentialism explains what we like about everyday objects - and explains why some of these objects can give us rich and lasting pleasure.” p93, bloom -chapter: irresplacable. We are essentialists, and so all of us, even young children, think about the things that we own in terms of their hidden


Essentialism: the notion that things have an underlying reality or true nature that one cannot observe directly and it is this hidden nature that really matters.” We are essentialists, and so all of us, even young children, think about the things that we own in terms of their hidden natures, including their histories. this essentialism explains what we like about everyday objects - and explains why some of these objects can give us rich and lasting pleasure.” p93, bloom -chapter: irresplacable. essentialism: the notion that things have an underlying reality or true nature that one cannot observe directly and it is this hidden nature that really matters.” ality or true nature that one cannot observe directly and it is this hidden nature that re-

We are essentialists, and so all of us, even young children, think about the things that we own in terms of their hidden natures, including their histories. this essentialism explains what we like about everyday objects - and explains why some of these objects can give us rich and lasting pleasure.” p93, bloom -chapter: irresplacable. are essentialists, and so all of us, even young children, think about the things that we own in terms of their hidden natures, including their histories. this essentialism explains what we like about everyday objects - and explains why some of these objects can give us rich and lasting pleasure.” p93, bloom -chapter: irresplacable. ality or true nature that one

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The still Essentialism: the notion that things have an underlying reality or true nature that one cannot observe directly and it is this hidden nature that really matters.” “essence may be taken for the being of any thing, whereby it is what it is. And thus, the real internal, but generally... unknown constitution of things, whereon their discoverable qualities depend, may be called their essence.” John Locke, 184, an essay concerning human understanding. We are essentialists, and so all of us, even young children, think about the things that we own in terms of their hidden natures, including their histories. this essentialism explains what we like about everyday objects - and explains why some of these objects can

2

the alchemy of essence

ality or true nature that one cannot observe directly and it is this hidden nature that really matters.” ality or true nature that one cannot observe directly and it is this hidden nature that really matters.nding. We are essentialists, and so all of us, even young children, think about the things that we own in terms of their hidden natures, including their histories. this essentialism explains what we like about everyday objects - and explains why some of these objects can give us rich and lasting pleasure.” p93, bloom -chapter: irresplacable. We are essentialists, and so all of us, even young children, think about the things that we own in terms of their hidden


Essentialism: the notion that things have an underlying reality or true nature that one cannot observe directly and it is this hidden nature that really matters.” We are essentialists, and so all of us, even young children, think about the things that we own in terms of their hidden natures, including their histories. this essentialism explains what we like about everyday objects - and explains why some of these objects can give us rich and lasting pleasure.” p93, bloom -chapter: irresplacable. essentialism: the notion that things have an underlying reality or true nature that one cannot observe directly and it is this hidden nature that really matters.” ality or true nature that one cannot observe directly and it is this hidden nature that re-

We are essentialists, and so all of us, even young children, think about the things that we own in terms of their hidden natures, including their histories. this essentialism explains what we like about everyday objects - and explains why some of these objects can give us rich and lasting pleasure.” p93, bloom -chapter: irresplacable. are essentialists, and so all of us, even young children, think about the things that we own in terms of their hidden natures, including their histories. this essentialism explains what we like about everyday objects - and explains why some of these objects can give us rich and lasting pleasure.” p93, bloom -chapter: irresplacable. ality or true nature that one

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how to calculate the volume of a sphere: v=4/3*π*radius3 how to calculate the volume of a cylinder: v= π*r2*h


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The Condenser Essentialism: the notion that things have an underlying reality or true nature that one cannot observe directly and it is this hidden nature that really matters.” “essence may be taken for the being of any thing, whereby it is what it is. And thus, the real internal, but generally... unknown constitution of things, whereon their discoverable qualities depend, may be called their essence.” John Locke, 184, an essay concerning human understanding. We are essentialists, and so all of us, even young children, think about the things that we own in terms of their hidden natures, including their histories. this essentialism explains what we like about everyday objects - and explains why some of these objects can

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the alchemy of essence

ality or true nature that one cannot observe directly and it is this hidden nature that really matters.” ality or true nature that one cannot observe directly and it is this hidden nature that really matters.nding. We are essentialists, and so all of us, even young children, think about the things that we own in terms of their hidden natures, including their histories. this essentialism explains what we like about everyday objects - and explains why some of these objects can give us rich and lasting pleasure.” p93, bloom -chapter: irresplacable. We are essentialists, and so all of us, even young children, think about the things that we own in terms of their hidden


The Customer The customer is of upmost importance when desiging a product, or in this case a service or process or kit. An understanding of the end user is gained through ‘walking in ones shoes’. The following images are scenarios of possible range of end users to keep in mind. this exercise also helped in concentrating the product down to its essence een further. With realisation of the upmost importnce the product/system is for a chef. The gardener is a keen advocate for preserving their labour in 1ml bottles of essence. The chemist is interested in this alternative domestic appliance, bringing home their work and hopefully the kit helps a scientist to expand on ideas generated n the laboratory, in the domestic envi

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ronment. Then there’s the chef whom the project is geared towards, someone of the likes of Heston Blumenthal. The entrepreneur is also a keen user, taking on the communicty challenge much like a pumpkin gorwing contest, but in this case, producing the best essential oils of the region. The aromatherapist in all her eccentircities is of course interested in how the oils she uses in her practice are made.


proposed user profiles the gardener


the chemist


the chef


the entrepreneur


the aromatherapist


HistOrY

It is an ancient herb used in medicine by the Greeks, the egyptians and the Romans. The name is derived from the Greek word ‘thymos’ that means ‘perfume’ and was used as an incense in Greek temples. The egyptians used it in embalming process.

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Thyme

Usage

Thyme oil is extracted from the fresh or partly dried flowering tops and leaves of the plant by steam distillation.

t HerapeUtic prOperties • antirheumatic • antiseptic • antispasmodic • bactericidal • cardiac • carminative • cicatrisant • diuretic • emmenagogue • expectorant • hypertensive • insecticide • stimulant • tonic • vermifuge

Thymus vulgaris

Yield 0.7 -1.0 %. Thyme oil has a rather sweet, yet strongly herbal smell and is reddish-brown to amber in colour.

Origins The Mediterranean


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nuTmeG

RosemaRy

PePPeR

Yield 0.5 - 1.0 %. nutmeg oil is sharp, spicy and rather musky in aroma. When the oil is made from the husks it produces mace, when extracted from the seeds, it produces pure nutmeg oil.

Yield 1.0 - 2.0 %. Rosemary oil has a clear, powerful refreshing herbal smell, is clear in colour and watery in viscosity.

Yield 1.0 - 3.0 %. black Pepper oil is a strong and sharp spicy smelling oil and is faintly reminiscent of clove oil, yet more refined. It can range in colour from light amber to yellow-green and has a watery viscosity.

Rosmarinus officinalis

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Carum carvi

Yield 2.0 - 8.0 %. Caraway oil has a sweet spicy odor with a slight peppery smell.

PePPeRmInT

b ay l e a f

Yield 1.0 - 2.5 %. Peppermint oil has a fresh, sharp, menthol smell, is clear to pale yellow in colour and watery in viscosity.

Yield 0.5-1.5% bay oil smells sweet, fresh and spicy, has a deep yellow colour, and is of medium to watery viscosity.

Mentha piperita

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lemonGRass

CoRIanDeR

Yield 0.7 - 1.0 %. lemongrass oil has a lemony, sweet smell and is dark yellow to amber and reddish in colour, with a watery viscosity.

Yield 0.8 - 1.0 % Caraway oil has a sweet spicy odor with a slight peppery smell.

Cymbopogon citratus

Coriandrum sativum

Laurus Nobilis

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C a R aWay

Piper nigrum

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Myristica fragrans

s a G e Salvia officinalis

Yield 1.0 - 2.0 %. sage oil has a sharp, herbal smell, and is watery in viscosity.


Essential oils from the Kitchen Garden vs Essential oils from the Perfume Garden

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21. Franincence Boswellia carteri 22. Geranium pelargonium graveolens 23. Ginger Zingiber officinale 24. Helichrysum Helichrysum angustifolium 25. Hyssop Hyssopus officinalis 26. Juniper Juniperus communis 27. Lavender Lavandula angustifolia 28. Lemon citrus limon 1. Aniseed Pimpinella anisum

29. Lemongrass Cymbopogon citratus

2. Angelica seed pimpinella anisum

30. Lime Citrus aurantifolia

3. Asafetida gum ferula asa-foetida

31. Marjoram Origanum marjorana

4. Basil Ocimum basilicum

32. May Chang Litsea cubeba

5. Bayleaf Pimenta racemosa

33. Melissa Melissa officinalis

6. Caraway Carum carvi

34. Myrrh Commiphora myrrha

7. Cardomon Elettaria cardamomum

35. Myrtle Myrtle communis

8. Carrot seed Daucus carota

36. Neroli Citrus aurantium

9. Cassia Cinnamomum cassia

37. Nutmeg Myristica fragrans

10. Cedar Juniperus virginiana

38. Palmarosa Cymbopogon martinii

11. Chamomile Anthemis nobilis

39. Patchouli Pogostemon cablin

12. Cinnamon leaf Cinnamomum zeylanicum

40. Pepper black Piper nigrum

13. Clary sage Salvia sclarea

41. Peppermint Mentha piperita

14. Clovebud Eugenia caryophyllata

42. Petitgrain Citrus aurantium var. amara

15. Coriander Coriandrum sativum

43. Pimento Leaf (allspice) Pimenta dioica

16. Cypress Cupressus sempervirens

44. Pine Pinus sylvestris

17. Dill Anethum graveolens

45. Ravenssara Ravensara aromatica

18. Elemi Canarium luzonicum

46. Rosemary Rosmarinus officinalis

19. Eucalyptus Eucalyptus globulus

47. Rosewood Aniba roseaodora

20. Fennel Foeniculum vulgare

48. Sandalwood Santalum austrocaledonicum

21. Frankincense Boswellia carteri

49. Spearmint Mentha spicata

22. Geranium pelargonium graveolens

50. Spikenard nardostachys jatamansi

23. Ginger Zingiber officinale

51. Thyme Thymus vulgaris

24. Helichrysum Helichrysum angustifolium

52. Tea Tree Melaleuca alternifolia

25. Hyssop Hyssopus officinalis

53. Valerian Valeriana officinalis

26. Juniper Juniperus communis

54. Wintergreen Gaultheria procumbens

27. Lavender Lavandula angustifolia

55. Yarrow Achillea millefolium

28. Lemon citrus limon

56. Ylang ylang Cananga odorata

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concentrate a two litre volume of plant matter can be distilled down to a mere four millilitre (80 drops) of essential oil.

When distilling a plant of its essential oils, there is a dramatic reduction in volume, and an equal increase in value. As shown above a 2L volume of plant matter can be distilled down to merely 4ml of essential oil. the alchemy of essence

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draft book