Pangaia’s puffer jackets are filled with wildflowers rather than down

US clothing brand Pangaia has released a puffer coat, whose filling is made with flowers in a bid to offer a cruelty-free alternative to duck or goose down. The stuffing, called Flower Down, was created over 10 years of research and development and combines wildflowers with an aerogel and a biopolymer to create a durable thermal […]

IBM proposes sustainable successor to lithium-ion battery

IBM has developed a new type of battery that’s free of cobalt, nickel and other heavy metals, avoiding the environmental and humanitarian issues related to lithium-ion technology. The battery is made from three materials that can be extracted from seawater, a much less invasive sourcing method than mining. IBM Research, the innovation arm of tech […]

Dezeen’s top 10 innovative materials of 2019

From lab-grown spider silk to cellulose, design and technology reporter Natashah Hitti continues our review of the year with 10 of the most interesting materials developed or used throughout 2019, with a particular focus on reuse. Seaweed As the climate crisis puts pressure on people to think twice about what they produce, many designers looked […]

Heliogen’s 1000C solar-heating technology could be key to low-emission cement

American company Heliogen has managed to concentrate solar energy to temperatures of more than 1000 degrees Celsius – hot enough to provide a fossil-fuel-free way to make concrete. The company creates ultra-high heat using a precisely aligned array of mirrors to focus sunlight onto a single target — a technology it describes as a “multi-acre […]

Nir Meiri turns cabbage leaves into paper-like lampshades

London-based studio Nir Meiri has teamed up with designer Vaidehi Thakkar to create a series of lamps with shades made from red cabbage leaves. The delicate veins and marbled colouring of the leaves shine through when a light source is applied. This organic aesthetic is contrasted with a simple, black and golden base housing the […]

Plastic bubbles incorporated into high-rise to reduce concrete usage by 35 per cent

A German construction project has saved an estimated 136 tonnes of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere by using incorporating air pockets made of recycled plastic within its concrete slabs. The two SparkassenVersicherung (SV) buildings in Mannheim’s Glückstein district are being built with concrete slabs developed by Cobiax, which include voids so that less concrete is […]

Katerra launches “elegantly simple” building products brand KOVA

Dezeen promotion: Silicon Valley design-build firm Katerra has launched a brand called KOVA that offers “simple, timeless” building products and materials. KOVA was founded by Katerra to offer architects, designers and trade professionals a one-stop shop for high quality but low-cost materials and products. Its products range from large appliances and cabinetry through to lighting, […]

Enis Akiev makes marbled tiles from post-consumer plastic waste

Kazakhstani designer Enis Akiev has developed a method for turning single-use plastic packaging into tiles, by emulating the organic process of rock formation. Metamorphic rocks such as marble develop their flowing, irregular patterns through heat and pressure, and Akiev’s Plastic Stone Tiles are subjected to similar conditions to achieve the same effect. “First, I collect […]

UK student’s fish-waste bioplastic MarinaTex wins 2019 James Dyson Award top prize

An easily biodegradable material that could be “part of a global answer” to single-use plastic pollution has won its inventor, British designer Lucy Hughes, the international James Dyson Award. Hughes’ MarinaTex bioplastic is strong, translucent and flexible, making it a possible alternative for single-use packaging such as bags and sandwich wrappers. Unlike current materials used […]

Charlotte McCurdy creates “carbon-negative” raincoat from algae bioplastic

New York designer Charlotte McCurdy has fashioned a water-resistant jacket from a plastic made of algae, which captures existing CO2 from the atmosphere. The garment is made from a bioplastic material McCurdy developed that consists entirely of biopolymers derived from algae. “The jacket is carbon-negative because it is made of marine macro-algae that expands our […]

Hyperstealth Biotechnology’s “invisibility cloak” can conceal people and buildings

Canadian camouflage company Hyperstealth Biotechnology has patented the technology behind a material that bends light to make people and objects near invisible to the naked eye. The material, called Quantum Stealth, is currently still in the prototyping stage, but was developed by the company’s CEO Guy Cramer primarily for military purposes, to conceal agents and […]

“Designers are starting to understand they don’t design in a vacuum” says Natsai Audrey Chieza

Good design is about interrogating systems not just creating beautiful chairs, biofabrication designer Natsai Audrey Chieza argued at Dezeen Day. Chieza agreed with panel moderator and Dezeen co-founder, Marcus Fairs, that she is less interested in designing iconic products and chooses instead to focus on materials and processes, which is the future of the discipline. […]

Re:newcell prepares to launch “world’s first clothes made from circular cotton”

Swedish company Re:newcell is aiming to disrupt the fashion industry and save natural resources by creating garments from Circulose – a new material made from recycled cotton clothes. Circulose was developed in response to the issue of waste generated by the fashion industry, which sees the vast majority of unwanted or worn out garments end […]

Pavilion grown from mycelium acts as pop-up performance space at Dutch Design Week

The Growing Pavilion is a temporary events space at Dutch Design Week constructed with panels grown from mushroom mycelium supported on a timber frame. Designed by set designer and artist Pascal Leboucq in collaboration with Erik Klarenbeek‘s studio Krown Design, the temporary pavilion is made entirely from bio-based materials. The outer panels were grown from […]

Switching to timber could solve Dutch housing shortage and be “a chance for our climate”

The Netherlands could build a million new homes from sustainably harvested local wood and save 100 megatons of carbon in the process, according to architect Marco Vermeulen. The Dutch architect has calculated that the country’s 140,000 hectares of harvestable woodlands could provide enough timber for 22,000 houses each year. This means the country’s entire shortfall […]

Native Shoes creates trainers from single piece of algae-laced foam

US brand Native Shoes has developed a sneaker that is entirely made from one continuous sheet of algae-enriched EVA in a bid to clean up the footwear industry. EVA, short for ethylene-vinyl acetate, is a flexible, rubber-like plastic often used to form the cushioning midsole of trainers or, as in the case of Crocs, even […]

Sumo seaweed-fibre nappies offer healthy and sustainable alternative

ÉCAL graduate Luisa Kahlfeldt has designed a new diaper that is more sustainable than even other reusable cloth nappies — an innovation for which she won the Swiss James Dyson Award. Kahlfeldt‘s Sumo nappies are made entirely of a fabric called SeaCell, composed of seaweed and eucalyptus. The textile is antibacterial and antioxidant-rich, so it […]

Envisions explores the future of the humble paving slab

Dutch design collective Envisions has developed a paving strategy for the city of Eindhoven that involves cutting, washing and stamping stones. Envisions, named Emerging Designer of the Year at Dezeen Awards 2018, has created a series of samples showing how Eindhoven’s streetscape could better reflect its identity as a global hub of creativity and innovation. The Dutch city, home to […]

MIT researchers develop emissions-free cement production process

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) researchers have demonstrated an experimental way of manufacturing cement that releases no carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Currently, the production of cement for concrete accounts for about eight per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions, leading to calls for architects to stop using it. However MIT‘s materials scientists are exploring […]

Fish scale bioplastic wins UK James Dyson Award for student design

University of Sussex graduate Lucy Hughes used fish waste to create MarinaTex, a compostable alternative to single-use plastic that has won her this year’s UK James Dyson Award. MarinaTex is made from fish scales and skin — waste products that would usually be buried in landfill or incinerated. It is translucent and flexible, making it […]

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