The Excess Nothing Manifesto

Excess Nothing is a theoretical art and design project concerned with sites of waste in Nigerian society.

Excess Nothing believes in upcycling “waste.” Waste is a social construction—an assertion of value about what has worth and what does not. But in our eyes, waste is just material whose usefulness is latent.     

Excess Nothing believes that waste is created through inequity in human relationships, and we seek to disrupt that process.

The name Excess Nothing is an observation of wealth disparities in Nigeria, the deeply inequitable distributions which dictate that people either have an excess or nothing. The project seeks to rectify this by using design research, brand consultancy, and various forms of collaboration to move towards a world where there is an excess of nothing.

Excess Nothing believes in an indigenous approach to design. “Indigenous” means “of the land,” an opportunity to (re)use what is actually on the Lagosian landscape today: plastic bags, old tires, broken monobloc chairs, and also preserve historic cultural worldviews. We believe in mixing the old and the new, the traditional and the technological, and narrowing the divide between the two.

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