EGG-SHIELD is a concept that proposes to rethink the final destiny of products. It is inspired by the utopia of living in an ´Ecocentric´ world which entails a society whose processes, consumption and disposal of things is always loyal to the planet. Waste is no longer waste, but repurposed and harnessed as in this case leftover eggshell is used as an asset for the creation of ephemeral objects and imitates the main purpose of an eggshell: protection. The natural behaviour of the material gives to it, uniqueness, and biodegradable features that demonstrates its circularity.

By shifting from nonrenewable resources to organic waste, EGG-SHIELD demonstrates to directly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This reduces the extraction and processing of unsustainable materials because instead it looks into potentials of using eggshell from food/waste industry as a component for a light, cement-or-ceramic-like material. It considers sustainability and biomimicry through the use of concepts such as: using ´waste as a resource´, ´renewable materials´, ´life-friendly chemistry´ and ´low energy processes´ to manufacture the pieces. It promotes a paradigm shift by demonstrating that organic waste can act as an alternative asset to produce objects. Here, excess of food waste is prevented from ending up in landfills for it is put back into the cyclic process by giving it a chance to be harnessed for product design. It will only be discarded when it is no longer useful at all and will do so in an Earth-harmless way through biodegradability: following the Cradle-to-cradle model since its composition consists only of natural and non-toxic materials.

EGG-SHIELD addresses the problems of improper disposal of things and excess of waste by giving eggshell a new purpose, in this case, to act as a shield. It imitates nature; eggshell is used for what it was made in the first place: protection. An ephemeral protection is the inspiration for the design of a cuirass, armor-like product that creates a symbiosis between a material and a human. This was achieved because the material follows any mould surface for it is like a cement-like paste, slimy and wet at the beginning, and just before drying it can be given any shape by rotating the mould allowing the material to move freely over it, such as adapting well to the human body. When the material dries it becomes stiff and brittle adopting characteristics of a ceramic. Its natural behaviour provides unique shapes and patterns demonstrating that eggshell surplus can be repurposed in many innovative ways and fabricated using 3D printing processes. Among the different shapes created, we find tiles, capsules, 3D printed pieces, a mask, containers... This material-driven project proves throughout the whole process to be a promoter of awareness by critically questioning availability, use and disposal of resources.

With the developing of a Scientific Communication followed by a recent collaboration with a design agency, the design initiative demonstrates its feasibility. The documented research includes an investigation of different concepts and project references (regarding Good Design, Circular Economy, Biomimicry, inspiration by scarcity, Cradle-to-cradle), trends and current state of waste management, and the documentation of the project developed: process, prototyping explorations, testing results and visual communication. The cuirass is the means of the project for it has the intention to be further studied and explored to create a real application, which will go beyond a concept. Therefore, high-quality products made of organic material residues have recently been developed in collaboration with Khamai Studio. The initiative addresses the need to handle better our resources as for this case by proposing to build a cyclic process with the creation of new local business models: ´Collection of the raw material´, ´Local Production´ and ´Distribution´ of the pieces that are being designed.

The process used to make pieces made of eggshell is scalable. It is summarised in 5 main steps that can be followed at home and that also exist in larger industry: Grinding (eggshell into a fine powder), Heating (the mixture of components), Forming (mould casting or 3D printing), Cooling (to accelerate the demoulding process), and Drying (natural). The final promise is to raise awareness of product disposal by making people re-evaluate the relationship they have with residues, therefore using this research as a Reference Guide to encourage them to use up their surplus organic material and create something out of it. Scalability of product developing with any organic material is possible in any place. The intention is to demonstrate that any material surplus can be repurposed but further studies regarding material properties is recommended if an application other than those presented here is planned.


Sofía Perales


EGGSHIELD by Sofia Perales (Video)



Supported by Khamai Studio

Photo credits

Sofía Perales