How clean is too clean? And what dirt is bad dirt?

A parent’s instinct is to raise their child in the safest way possible. Yet this definition of safe - thanks to an industry that has capitalised on the fear of new parents - has manifested itself into sterile, something that is proving to be detrimental to children’s health.

Dirty Soaps expose infants to just enough dirt, while maintaining the parental need to nurture and protect. The accompanying children’s book aims to highlight the importance of the microbiome in early development whilst changing the perception of what clean actually is - for both parent and child - in a reassuring way.

Children should be exposed to a variety of bacterias from different locations and sources. Places where children typically play are great sources of bacteria, for example; play parks, petting farms and gardens. The bacteria shown here was sourced from these locations over a period of time before being adapted into the top layer of the dirty soaps.
The dirty soaps were also supported by the children’s book ‘invisible friends’. In the book, we follow the journey of a small girl, Fi, as she tries to sneak bacteria she found while playing outdoors into her home to prove to her parents that it’s a good thing.

The objective of this book was to not only educate parents that bacteria is good, but children too - and by intervening in moments of care between the parent and their child such as bath time and bedtime, it becomes an enjoyable educational experience for both.

Stacie’s “dirty soaps” proves altogether her excellent ability to critically research a current societal behaviour, her creativity when it comes to generate concepts, and her thoroughness in the iterative experimentation process and execution of the final outcome. The brief I gave to Stacie was very open and she was able to explore different directions, and more importantly to chose one early enough in the project to focus on the excellence of its realisation. The result is compelling; it not only questions our relationship to cleanliness and how it affects our children, but also opens interesting and believable alternatives. The project is very complete and well executed, both in the designs themselves and the communication materials.

What is particularly impressive about this outcome in the context of Make Your Own Masters is that, beyond answering a brief, Stacie had to come up with her own program structure, and stick to self-imposed deadlines. I believe this shows her strength and ability to carry projects through.

Working towards her self-made graduate show, Stacie has raised the structuring of her thinking and the standards of the outcomes to what would be expected of an excellent masters level student, while also impressively assuming the role of a course planner.

- Marie Tricaud