nutritious waste
waste material research
2015
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.


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Cup of Coffee Waste on DDW

research

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.


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Triangular Matrix

Napkins give strength to the material due to its cellulose fibers, coffee grounds add a big amount of nutrients.


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early material sample

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.


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Exhibition Display Explaining the Project

nutritious properties

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.


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Liquid Mycelium Culture Compressed Brick

working_steps_vimeo.mp4


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Bricks with Mushrooms

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.


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Press Compressing Mould

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Mess in Kitchen Growbox with Brick

properties

The bricks are light, pressure absorbing and isolating. The mycelial network creates additional strength and endurance.


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Illustration of Mycelial Network

possible applications

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.


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Bricks used for Flowerpot

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Bricks used as pressure absorbing Floor Bricks used as Wall Isolation