final year Iddn project 2011

Final Book

culinary plants for essential oils poster

more more renders

more renders as the designs become final final

latest renderings

more presentation posters

presentation posters

seed rack

the seed packets (of which the seeds are the first step in the process of distillation, of course, as you need the plants to distill) well, they needed a way of storing, so i whipped up this glorious seed-rack on Monday.


condenser molding

Today I’ve been making a mold of the condenser model, cast it in plaster.Funnily and fittingly the best size vessel to make it in was a milk jug. 

the condenser

The condenser design’s form is finalised.


On this project to date, I have filled up an entire a4 book, a stack of paper equal in size to the book, and a whole pad of butter paper. My eraser is now worn down to a size smaller than my thumbnail, and I’ve restocked the lead in my pencil more than 4 times.

bench height analysis

The design for the thermostat is coming along nicely, and a hurdle in the design work pulled me (thankfully) away from the drawing board and around the house to find the average heights for benches, ovens, fridge doors, shelves, tables etc. These were then drawn up on the white board and measured against myself as to what height worked best. (NB. chopping block height of 825mm was the preferred)


edible % chart

raw data obtained/collated from numerous essential oil and botany information sites, of plants whose essential oil is obtained through steam distillation. Interesting to note that the majority of the plants are used in culinary dishes.

value chain for buyers chart

What’s really exciting about the chart below, is not only is it a representation of how the essential oils industry is primarily used in four industries, these are: Flavour, Personal Care, Pharmaceutical and Industrial Industries, which are then further divided into sub-components; but also those four primary industries are my four user profiles created earlier.
The Body Shops usage of essential oils is dominantly in the Personal Care sector (crazy aromatherapist lady); whilst as shown in Diagram to follow, the majority of plants used in steam distillation are food industry related. There is also the food grade quality assured through the premium oils produced. (diagram data source: Essential Oils Incubator, SEDA, 2009) 



The poster below is a diagrammatic representation of the reductive properties of distilling plant matter into an essential oil. this representation is of a two litre volume of plant matter (for example bay leaves) concentrates down to a mere four millilitres of essential oil.

map of essentials

Here is a map created of all the places in the world that the Body Shop’s main supplier of essential oils source theirs from currently.

user profiles

The following are the proposed end-user profiles for the alchemy of essence, with key emphasis on the chef. The chef is of upmost significance after the analysis of the plants for distilling as per previous post, and thus being from the pantry and the kitchen garden. hence a targeting of the ‘Heston Blumenthal’ type ‘laboratory’ chefs.

the chef

the entrepreneur


the chemist


the gardener


the aromatherapist


All photos taken by Andrew Mitchener, of me.

seed packets

The following are some seed packets designed for the alchemy of essence kit, as i work through each step of the system. The seeds are step one, in which the customer purchases from the body shop, and of which contains the seeds of plants suitable for steam distillation, and also key information such as oil product yield percentage and special tips on how to distill it.

Information pertaining to the plants was obtained from these sites.

All images by yours truly, fresh from the pantry (and the mother-in-laws kitchen garden)

information pages

these are the inserts from the presentation to help explain each part in greater detail, than the 5 minutes given to present the entire project.




To get the perfect ‘drip’ form, I experimented with wet dough and capturing rapid still shots of it dripping down. whilst we are on the subject of hands, here’s a test run with a plasticine mockup of the condenser unit, to aid in form development.

presentation pieces

for the presentation on Tuesday I’ve made (re-appropriated) a box that contains the 1:5 scale model, a few charts describing the processes, some materiality samples fittingly in test-tubes and (not shown in the images as I will be getting them printed tomorrow) A5 information cards for each component of the system. I’ll attach screen shots of these when they’re all square later tonight. Then all that’s left to do is print the cards off, and make a presentation, and pack a lunch, as I’m scheduled last to present out of 30! eek.

latest models


one-to-one scale cutout ‘drawing’ of model for review on tuesday.The physical model was made at 1:5, as per below. 




in the separate/dispenser unit is the ‘vinaigrette’ outlet for excess water. (as per this example of the ‘Salad sunrise’ from Droog)

This conjured up images from the film ‘adaptation’ where an explanation for what an epiphyte is happens. These are excellent precedents for aesthetic nature.

the following images are from this site.


glass blower

Today I visited the University resident glass-blower, and what seems to be the cities resident glass-blower also. beautiful stuff, i’ll let the images do the talking for me.



the 7 key points

  1. / change of state e.g. alchemy
  2.  / search for the true essence of things
  3.  / distilling something to preserve pure value
  4.  / the motor to re-enact the digestive process
  5.  / analogue power to generate value through effort
  6.  / rituals and (beauty) regimes
  7.  / community/locally sourced produce

7/ the final product

selling your essential oils back to the body shop

grass essential oil I made

sketches of dispensary vials

sketches of dispensary vials

testtube final product vial

The end product is an essential oil that the customer produces from their own surrounds/garden etc, then sells back to the body shop to create this community spirit in Brighton, like a chutney swap group, but with essential oils. The final vial is of upmost importance as well as Quality Assurance maintained through the systems labeling and dispensing process.

6/ the dispensary

dispensing out the product

representational model of a dispensary unit

sketches of dispensary model ideas

representational model of a dispensary unit

The dispensed product under-goes a process of reverse emulsion which works off the repelling nature of oil and water, much like making a vinaigrette, where the vinegar and oil separate, allowing one to be poured from the top and the other from the bottom. The filling station will have a label extractor which prints on the labels all the information obtained from the different steps in the process of production. E.g. raw weight, temperature, timing etc.


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