As a kid, nothing made me happier than drinking hot chocolate out of one of those porcelain mugs with little critters built into the bottom. You know what I’m talking about … novelty mugs outfitted with ceramic figurines of barnyard animals, snowmen, frogs, and, um, donuts, that “emerge”  as you finish sipping the hot beverage of your choice.

As spotted by TreeHugger at Valencia Design Week 2010, Korean designer Mina Kwag has taken a decidedly cute yet adult spin on the old “figurine at the bottom of the cup” trick with her line of Only 1°C Change Can Affect Us ceramic cups.

Printed on the inside of each of the four cups are different messages meant to "draw people's attention to the effects that global warming's predicted future impacts on their daily lives." For example, one cup reads: “+3°C: Collapse of Amazon rainforest responsible for the generation of oxygen.” At the bottom of that particular cup is a tiny ceramic tree. Another cups reads “+1°C: At least 10% of land species facing extinction.” As you may have guessed, a trio of tiny animals is at the bottom of that cup.

Explains Kwag:

The ‘Only 1°C change can affect us’ cup series is an alternative idea to that of the current throwaway cup. It is made of eco-friendly ceramic and reflects the concept of the slogan ‘Only 1°C change can affect us.’ We can recognize the effect that is caused by just one degree when we drink something using this ‘Only 1°C change can affect us’ cup.
Like Petz Scholtus over at TreeHugger, I’m not sure what exactly Kwag means by “eco-friendly ceramic.” But whatever the case, I’m digging Kwag’s clever and beautiful method of encouraging coffee/tea time climate change contemplation.

Read Kwag’s artist statement and see other goods including T-shirts, postcards, and jewelry from the Only 1ºC Can Affect us line here

Via [TreeHugger]

Matt Hickman ( @mattyhick ) writes about design, architecture and the intersection between the natural world and the built environment.

Coffee? Tea? Climate Change?
Ceramic mugs made by Only 1°C Change Can Affect Us encourage coffee time contemplation with messages about the impact of global warming -- and corresponding fi