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Huiyi Zhang

MA work

Roach Farm

In the book Guns, Germs and Steel, the author Jared Diamond showed how profound an impact the domestication of animals could have on human societies. 

History has only seen insects put into large scale production twice. The ancient Chinese used silkworms to produce some of the most luxurious fabrics exported to the Roman Empire, and ancient India used bees to get honey. 

There is another creature that has been living with us from the very beginning; it existed on Earth long before us, for nearly 300 million years. They are probably the most ancient and resistant species, and have endured numerous apocalypses. They have long been regarded as filthy pests, carrying germs and making people scream in the kitchen. They are called cockroaches, or 'The Little Strong', as they are nicknamed on the Chinese internet; to give credits to its strong and persistent vitality. This vitality can be very valuable. Cockroaches can have a greater role to play in human life – as livestock, tools, and products

This project aims to serve individuals and communities directly through a modular and decentralised cockroach farming system. Recycling kitchen waste from the source, while creating economic value, and changing stereotypes. The project starts from people’s psychological obstacles – focusing on how to reduce the direct intervention and contact between people and cockroaches, and simplify the user's operational behaviour throughout the process.


  • MA Degree


    School of Design


    MA Innovation Design Engineering, 2019

  • Degrees

  • BA Digital Media Art, Beijing Normal University, 2017