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 […]

Nienke Hoogvliet to speak at Dezeen Day about designing with sewage and seaweed

Dutch designer Nienke Hoogvliet will discuss her research into new materials made from seaweed, fish leather and plastics made from sewage at Dezeen Day on 30 October. Hoogvliet’s work raises awareness of social and environmental problems caused by the food, textile and leather industries, and explores how new materials can help make a better world. […]

MIT creates blackest black that is darker than Vantablack

MIT engineers have created a blackest black coating from carbon nanotubes that is reportedly 10 times darker than any material created before, including Vantablack. The coating, which is made from vertically aligned carbon nanotubes (CNT) grown on chlorine-etched aluminium foil, can absorb 99.995 percent of visible light. “Our material is 10 times blacker than anything that’s […]

Studio Gang clads Chicago high-rise in energy-saving concrete panels

Dezeen promotion: materials developer Rieder has clad the facades of Solstice on the Park, a residential tower in Chicago designed by Studio Gang, in modular concrete panels. The tower, clad by Rieder, is named Solstice on the Park due to the distinctive angular forms cut from its south, park-facing facade. The form of the building has […]

Vollebak’s plant and algae t-shirt becomes “worm food” in 12 weeks

Tech-based clothing startup Vollebak has launched a t-shirt made entirely from wood pulp and algae, which breaks down in soil or in a composter within three months. The t-shirt itself is made from wood pulp sourced from sustainably managed forests. Vollebak sources wood from eucalyptus, beech, and spruce trees, which are chipped and pulped before […]

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 […]

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