Jasmine Linington uses seaweed to make couture clothing

Textile design graduate Jasmine Linington establishes seaweed as a high-end fashion material with her collection of nature-derived couture garments. In a bid to address the environmental impact of the fashion and textile industry, the Edinburgh College of Art MFA student looked to the Scottish shores for more sustainable materials. Every element of Linington’s Seaweed Girl […]

Bio Iridescent Sequins are the green alternative for sustainable sparkles

Designer Elissa Brunato has created the Bio Iridescent Sequin, a shimmering embellishment made from trees that is more sustainable than regular plastic sequins. Instead of using petroleum-based plastic, Brunato has developed a way of making glittering sequins from the cellulose extracted from trees. The cellulose’s crystalline form refracts light and makes the sequins naturally shimmery, without […]

Viking-style seaweed thatch updated into prefab panelling

Traditional Danish seaweed thatching could be updated into a sustainable contemporary building material, according to research by Kathryn Larsen. Copenhagen School of Business and Design student Larsen became interested in the potential for seaweed architecture after studying the Viking practice of thatching roofs using eelgrass on the island of Læsø. “Eelgrass is a fantastic material that […]

Scientists develop “greenhouse shields” to grow food on Mars

Researchers at Harvard University have devised a way to terraform Mars by placing sheets of silica aerogel on the planet’s surface, which would warm it up to make it suitable for growing plants. Robin Wordsworth from Harvard University collaborated with Ronald L Kerber from California Institute of Technology and Charles Cockell from the University of Edinburgh, […]

Bricks made from loofah and charcoal could promote biodiversity in cities

Plants and insects can thrive on the surface of these Green Charcoal bio-bricks, engineered as an alternative to concrete by researchers at the Indian School of Design and Innovation in Mumbai. The researchers’ eco-friendly bricks are made of soil, cement, charcoal and organic luffa fibres — better known as loofah, the plant commonly used for […]

Nienke Hoogvliet’s Kaumera Kimono is dyed with wastewater

Dutch designer Nienke Hoogvliet used a byproduct from the wastewater treatment process to create the dyed pattern on this kimono, which is intended to be passed down through the generations. The Kaumera Kimono was an outcome of an exploratory project undertaken by Studio Nienke Hoogvliet for the Dutch Water Authorities. The government body has been […]

Beatrice Sangster-Bullers combines fashion and AI to make “emotionally intelligent” clothing

Central Saint Martins fashion graduate Beatrice Sangster-Bullers integrates artificial intelligence into garments that display the wearer’s emotions. Called The Order of The Singularity, the graduate collection combines AI technology with smart materials to create wearable, “emotionally intelligent” clothing. Sensors integrated into the garments use algorithms to map the wearer’s current mental state. The wearer can […]

Smart chest binder promises to ease pain for trans people

Transgender men and non-binary people have a safer, more comfortable option for chest binding in the form of Breathe, a smart garment designed by Loughborough University student Miles Kilburn. The student designer created Breathe as his final year project in Loughborough‘s Industrial Design and Technology course. The product caters to people who practice chest binding, […]

MIT researchers engineer “cyborg” plants for motion-tracking and sending notifications

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology‘s “cyborg botany” researchers have turned plants into sensors and displays, suggesting we use them as a gentle alternative to electronic screens. Harpreet Sareen and Pattie Maes from the MIT Media Lab’s Fluid Interfaces Group have been researching how to merge plants and artificial electronics to create new interfaces. “Plants are normally […]

Shahar Livne makes bio-leather shoes from slaughterhouse waste

Israeli designer Shahar Livne has designed a pair of sneakers with alternative leather inserts made from the wasted fat, bones and blood of animals. The Blood Sneakers were designed as part of Livne‘s Meat Factory project. It sees her run a series of material experiments to turn fat and bones taken from waste streams of […]

Totomoxtle is a material bringing back rare corn from the brink of extinction

Mexican designer Fernando Laposse has developed Totomoxtle, a marquetry material that uses the colourful husks of heirloom corn species that restore vital biodiversity. Laposse has developed a technique for turning the waste from preparation of the corn as a food stuff into an attractive and versatile veneer, in an example of the circular economy. The […]

Aivan grows headphones from fungus and yeast

Fungus, yeast-based bioplastic and other materials grown by microbes have been used to make the Korvaa headphones, designed by Finnish studio Aivan in collaboration with scientists. All up, the Korvaa headphones feature six different microbially grown substances. They were designed to showcase the potential of the technology known as synthetic biology, or “synbio” for short. This discipline […]

Studio Mumbai’s handmade furniture references traditional craftsmanship

Indian architecture firm Studio Mumbai will exhibit 14 furniture and homeware items crafted from a mix of “universal” and more unusual materials, at Maniera gallery in Brussels. Described as the “result of an ongoing process of refinement and study in material, form and function”, the new collection of handmade furniture and homeware features a daybed, […]

University of Stuttgart creates biomimetic pavilions based on sea urchins and beetle wings

The University of Stuttgart has continued its experiments into biomimicry and robotic construction with two pavilions at the Bundesgartenschau horticultural show in Germany. Both of the pavilions are built by robots and take the their forms from animals – a sweeping wooden pavilion has a shape based on sea urchins, while a fibre-composite pavilion takes its […]

Basse Stittgen gives discarded eggs new life as bioplastic tableware

German designer Basse Stittgen aims to address the issue of global food waste and overconsumption with a series of tableware objects made solely from out-of-date eggs. As part of his project, called How Do You Like Your Eggs?, Stittgen aims to explore the “extraordinary materiality” of commonplace items, such as waste food. As a result, function […]

Snow nanogenerator would allow solar panels to generate energy on wintry days

US researchers have invented a nanogenerator that could one day be added to solar panels to keep them producing energy when covered in snow. The team, based at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), designed the snow-powered tiny device to take advantage of the energy-producing potential of snow. They call their invention a snow-based triboelectric […]

London Marathon offers edible drinks capsules as alternative to plastic bottles

Over 30,000 edible Ooho drinks capsules were handed out to runners at the London Marathon yesterday, in a bid to reduce plastic waste. The marathon was the largest ever trial of Ooho capsules – biodegradable pods that can be filled with water or other beverages. You can either consume the pods whole, or bite into them […]

Kelly Jazvac presents “beautiful and horrific” plastiglomerate objects at Milan Triennale

Kelly Jazvac is showing pieces of plastiglomerate at the Milan Triennale, a “warning sign” material that is a mix of molten plastic debris and beach sediment. Plastiglomerate is the result of plastic litter melting and merging with the surrounding rocks, shells, sand and other debris to form a lumpen solid sediment flecked with colour. The rock-plastic hybrid […]

Thermobimetal shutters by Doris Sung self-regulate the temperature of buildings

Buildings could be cooled with zero energy using the Invert shading system, made from a smart material called thermobimetal that changes shape in response to heat. The invention of architect Doris Sung, Invert looks like a regular decorative shutter, but its metal pieces curl and flip over in the sun, altering how much light and […]

Bioplastics could be “just as bad if not worse” for the planet than fossil-fuel plastics

Bioplastics could potentially be worse for the environment than conventional plastics, according to recycling expert Arthur Huang. Switching to plastic made from plants instead of fossil fuels would require vast amounts of farmland, Huang said. This could could cause environmental problems and deprive humans of food. Huang, founder and CEO of circular-economy engineering company Miniwiz, […]

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