Nutritious Bricks

Material research, Design Academy Eindhoven, 2015 (ongoing)

Nutritious Bricks

Material research, Design Academy Eindhoven, 2015 (ongoing)

Coffee grounds get produced in large amounts, as waste products. I wanted to take the waste from drinking coffee and transform it into a valuable resource.

I therefore used both coffee and paper napkins, together with a fungal species, to produce bricks made of raw, nutritious material. The fungi would make the nutrients accessible and produce edible fruiting bodies from it, at the same time connecting the material particles like glue.

This project addresses the issue of impermanent shelter for thousands of refugees in Athens in late 2015. An average of 5000 people arrived on a daily, basis, waiting to be sent further onto their route.

The result of this intensive research process was a series of materials with various properties by the analytic approach of different mixtures and recipes. As an additional organic compound I added starch and cooked the ingredients for more strength and structural integrity.

At first, I researched the effects on the economy in Athens, prior to visiting the city and interviewing people from both social and political initiatives.

matrix material research

The most important properties to me were the high amount of nutrients, structural strength, moldabiliy and flexibility.

I was struck by the amount of solidarity actions happening around the city. It made me wonder if only a crisis (or the perspective of misery) could bring a community together that close.

Contrary, regarding to my stay in the Netherlands at that time, I had the feeling that all distress there was hidden behind tidy façades.

illustrated mycelium growth animation
brick assembled

The shaped bricks allow a modular composition for various appliances. They are light, pressure absorbing, isolating and fire-retardant.

With this project I want to address the urgency of encouraging any actions of solidarity.