Galactophage is a project that explores a speculative scenario for French independent dairy farmers facing a milk crisis.
The end of the European quota system in 2015 marked the beginning of the largest industrialization of dairy farms, that spread all around the world. In the near future, industrial dairy farms will have the monopoly of all European milk production, using more complex robotic machinery which will be detrimental to the human labour force. Small French dairy farmers will struggle with this situation and will have to totally re-invent their practice.
One solution is for designers to get closer to farmers and reintroduce the Galalith production, turning this old material into valuable artifacts. Galalith is a material made with the casein protein contained in the milk. It was used in the XX century to create small accessories. This material will be appealing for designer as it can be a substitute to ivory,a material which is not ethical to use anymore.
Chinese investors have been interested in French milk production for its health quality since 2015 and will be interested in this new biobased material that looks like ivory. In China and Hong Kong, carving ivory is a precious practice that has a traditional meaning. But they encounter ethical issue in the eyes of the whole world: lots of ivory is sold by poachers who kill elephants illegally, and finance criminal mafia in Africa. This new natural substance with little inherent value could assume prized social significance.