waste material research
Design Academy Eindhoven
Department Man and Leisure
coffee grounds as waste
The starting point to this project was a cup of coffee.
Coffee grounds get produced in large amounts, this is why I decided to use waste materials from coffee shops for my material research.
With my project I want to reuse waste coffee grounds and napkins as a valuable resource. Therefore I use the coffee's nutritious properties to grow food and transform the waste into a strong material.
By testing out different mixtures of food waste I came up with a variety of different materials.
This triangular matrix shows different mixtures of potato starch, used paper napkins and coffee grounds. I decided for materials with beneficial properties like structural strength, moldabiliy and flexibility.
Napkins give strength to the material due to its cellulose fibers, coffee grounds add a big amount of nutrients.
Dutch Design Week 2015
I presented my material studies on the Dutch Design Week 2015 at Klokgebouw. The resonance was very positive and I talked to many people about potential application and usage. I got a lot of feedback which influenced my further progress.
I decided to make the nutrients accessible through fungi which not only strengthens the material but also uses the nutrients to grow edible mushrooms. Therefore I shaped bricks to enable people to use them for their personal need.
compressing the bricks
I use a mixture of coffee grounds and paper napkins together with water to compress it to bricks with a mold and a press. Then I pressure cook it to prevent moulds from growing. I spray inoculate it with liquid culture of Oyster mushroom and after 2-3 weeks the fungus will cultivate the whole brick.
The bricks are light, pressure absorbing and isolating. The mycelial network creates additional strength and endurance.
The bricks could be used as a pressure absorbing floor or as a wall isolation. They could also be used for building simple objects or degradable outdoor structures.