From laundry and storage to gardening and transportation, few IKEA products have as many creative uses as the FRAKTA shopping bag. Therefore it was the perfect place to start experimenting with circular fabrication methods using everyday tools, biodegradable materials, and a touch of imagination.
How do we democratise the benefits of parametric design? How can we develop more sustainable furniture fabrication, using already existing everyday objects? Is it possible to grow and cast furniture from home?
These were some of the questions that architects Katya Bryskina and Tomás Clavijo set out to explore during their residency at SPACE10, as part of our collaboration with Strelka Institute. With a shared passion for sustainability, Katya and Tomás combined their expertise in parametric design and innovation strategy to imagine a new circular fabrication model. Specifically, they wanted to explore how the IKEA FRAKTA shopping bag might be used as a tool to grow, cast, and shape furniture using locally sourced biodegradable materials.
From waste to material
Agricultural production disposes of great amounts of waste, in the form of vegetal fibres. On a global scale, these natural by-products show significant promise for the production of biodegradable composite materials, or simply biocomposites. Biocomposites are formed by mixing vegetal fibres with a natural binder — such as plant-based resin or bicarbonates — and compressing the material into a solid form. As a material, they are renewable, cheap, biodegradable and in many cases completely recyclable.
When communities are empowered with the right methods and tools, vegetal fibres can turn from ‘waste’ into ‘material’ – and become a cheap and locally sourced material for the production of everyday objects.
Katya and Tomás experimented with biodegradable binders and vegetal fibres to create materials that can be used for fabricating furniture. However, the perfect recipe for biocomposite furniture production is yet to be discovered. Therefore, they decided to share their exploration with the world to take it further. They invite you to choose your own materials and play along from home.
A good way to get to know biocomposites is to explore open-source materials libraries, such as Materiom, which provide ‘recipes’ from natural and easily available materials.
Bio-Fold is not a recipe for transforming linear production into circular. Rather, we wish to highlight the opportunity for how everyday objects and materials — with a bit of imagination — can enable sustainable fabrication, use, and recycling of products.
Information submitted by the maker and edited by the Future Materials Bank.
Agricultural waste, Bioresin, Mycelium
Bio-Fold: A Circular Design Exploration with the FRAKTA Bag