Made in

Composite 95 Recycled 114


Photos: Narayani Mahesh

Re-Imagining Materials

The material world is connected to the everyday lives of people, playing a substantial part in the way we interact with objects, spaces as well as technologies. Taking the mundane scenario, there is an exigency to re-write our perceptions, to understand what materials can do and what their potential is. This can be achieved through material innovation. Simultaneously, the discussions regarding throw-away culture, and circular economy are ongoing or in other words, there is an emerging consciousness regarding how we manufacture and consume.

"Make it Matter"

The project aims to create a composite material from local materials, including waste materials which will otherwise contribute to the never-ending heaps of landfill. The project will in turn make the audience realise that for every material or object being thrown away, there is an alternative use. In other words, these can be recycled or reused wisely and efficiently. In this project, different material composites were developed using coconut shell powder, along with various binders, through the "Material Driven Design" approach. One among the new material composites, "CRUST" which constitutes coconut shell powder and thermocol waste, was explored through prototyping and the corresponding material experience vision was derived.

The project highlights reimagining two materials :
1. Coconut shells - considered in the finest form, that is, coconut shell powder.
2. Thermocol waste - reusing in a different form.

Additional information

These experiments were conducted based on the ultimate concept of efficient utilisation of a naturally abundant local material, coconut shell and re-imagining it by using the material in its finest form, the coconut shell powder. Innovation helps us to explore new strengths and application areas of materials. These experiments also involve efficient utilisation of waste, material exploration and more.
Once the materials were ready for further exploration, the techniques were chosen. Hand-building, moulding, texturing, slabbing, pinching, coil building, were carried out and corresponding prototypes were made, based on the designs.

The sequence that describes the making of the material composite is:
Coconut shell - Shell powder - Hard crust (back to the hardened form)
This shows the re-generation of the material form, which is the genesis of the composite name.
The material composite has a built-in appearance that is deep-rooted to the source of the material, which is the coconut shell. The colour of the material can be described as earthy and rustic, with a matte-like finish. Adding on to these, it is lightweight, although it gives an illusion of heaviness. These aspects of the material composite have contributed a lot to the name, “CRUST“.

“CRUST” also signifies the process of reimagining the coconut shell, which is the crust of the coconut.
It is always good to experience the rustic! The colour, the organic forms, and the textural qualities of the material give us a glimpse of the wabi–sabi aesthetics.
The material tries to bring in a colour palette, that mimics what’s found in nature: mainly earth tones and rusts. This creates an atmosphere of tranquillity and harmony. Behind every product which is made out of this material, relies on a story derived from nature and its aura.

Information submitted by the maker and edited by the Future Materials Bank.


Coconut shell powder, Thermocol waste