Silkworm Cocoon: Bag Proposal

I will make a bag that addresses the ecological space of the Earth. The interactions between humans and our environment are becoming increasingly detrimental to other living organisms and to the Earth. We are at a point in history where human development has a substantial global impact. Our advancements in technology have led to a reliability on nonrenewable sources of energy and harmful disposal habits that are destructive to the planet and the animals that inhabit it, including humans.

I want to bring awareness to humanity’s destruction of the Earth with my bag through the form of the silkworm. My bag will replicate the form of a silkworm cocoon and will be made entirely of fused plastic bags. For centuries humans have profited by utilizing the silkworm species’ ability to produce silk; changing the species so fundamentally, that domestic silkworms rely on human intervention to reproduce. Silkworms use cocoons for protection during their metamorphosis into moths; humans boil these cocoons in water during silk production, killing the larvae inside. I am intrigued by this interruption in a natural process necessary to silkworms for their survival. To me it shows the way humans use the Earth’s resources for their own gains, highlighting humanity’s ingenuity and intelligence at the expense of other species and the environment. This is an aspect I would like to emphasize through the use of plastic to form my bag. Plastic is a manmade material that has greatly improved the lives of humans, while the disposal of it causes the destruction of important ecosystems.

The transformation of the bag will be the deconstruction of the cocoon. The flaps used to close the bag will peel away into separate pieces rendering the bag useless as it can no longer carry things or be worn. The very deconstruction of this bag could potentially add to the vast amounts of plastic waste clogging our oceans and killing our animals, as its deconstruction emphasizes the eventuality of its disposal. Through the users’ intervention, the cocoon is destroyed. Likewise, as humans become more and more dependent on plastic, chemicals, and fossil fuels, the earth will also be destroyed, vital resources will be stripped away, and humans will no longer reap the benefits that the planet has to offer.

silkworm chrysalis
caterpillar to chrysalis metamorphosis
silkworm cocoons
silkworm cocoons


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