"NAMU" means tree and wood in Korean.
This project is about a new sustainable plastic made of wasted wood materials and natural adhesive.
The word ‘plastic’ is derived from the old Greek word ‘plastikos’ which means ‘easy to shape’. Together with lightness, this is the main advantage of this material. With his research, Yoon Seok-hyeon wants to find natural and sustainable alternatives for plastic, with the same two favourable characteristics. For this project, he looked at sawdust, a waste material from wood processing industries. To a smaller extent it is being used, but in most cases combined with a chemical binder. Various attempts by related industries and designers to make the combination of sawdust and binder materials sustainable still continued to be stuck in rut. Yet, based on tree species, colours, size of particles, processing temperature, and method, sawdust offers a diversity of possibilities.
From material research and development, natural and sustainable alternatives to plastic with various functional properties have been discovered. With natural binders and adhesives, the wasted materials show potential as a plastic alternative. The new material is mouldable to create parts of a design object and when it's hardened, the material is strong enough to be used as furniture pieces in our everyday life. Furthermore, the material is bio-degradable and can be reutilised as the material can be easily reshaped and remoulded with a simple process.
Studio Yoon Seok-hyeon is continuing to develop this project for other applications and possible betterments.
This project is generated and financed by the Stichting Stokroos and Yksi Expo under the theme of ‘Rethinking Plastic’.
Rethinking Plastic stands for a 'different view on plastic'. Because we now realise the urgency of plastic as an environmental problem, but at the same time it is a very useful material and a world without plastic is hard to imagine. So we have to think differently about plastic as a material and deal with it differently. Designers play a crucial role in this. They devise and develop alternatives and can design in such a way that products last longer and the materials are easier to separate and therefore easier to recycle. And when reused or recycled, they can turn it into useful and beautiful new products. With extra values, so that users deal with plastic differently.
Sawdust, Natural adhesive (Glue from animal wastes)
Studio Yoon Seok-hyeon