seaweed exploration

This project consisted of initial material exploration of Macro Algae (seaweed) for the EU funded OD&M project (open design & manufacture) as a researcher for Green Lab.

SEAWEED refers to several species of macroscopic, multi cellular macro algae. This algae is classified into 3 groups: Red algae, Brown algae and Green algae - each with there own varying material properties.

Seaweed plays an important role in our ecosystem - providing marine habitats, capturing CO2 and producing oxygen, providing nutrition and more recently with research into its properties as a biofuel, biomedicine and bioremediation.

For this project I was investigating various types of Algae's material properties. With a current heavy focus on its potential as a bioplastic, manufacturing with this material is increasing.

With location in mind I searched to find the most accessible species of algae to work with, both collecting fresh seaweed from coast's around the south east of England and also working with dried seaweeds from London's many Asian supermarkets.

With hands on research I created a series of samples and recipes showcasing what material qualities can be achieved with a fairly lo-fi process. The purpose of this exercise was to provide students from Central Saint Martins MA Industrial Design undertaking the Future Algae brief with initial inspiration to set about developing there own projects working with this resource.

DRIED SEAWEED

Dulse - Palmaria Palmata (red algae)

Kombu (Kelp) - Laminariaceae (brown algae)

Nori - Pyropia (red algae)

Wakame (Kelp) - Undaria Pinnatifida (brown algae)

FRESH SEAWEED

Spiral Wrack - Fucus Spiralis (brown algae)

FRESH SEAWEED

Bladderwrack - Fucus Vesiculosus (brown algae)

Wakame material sample

Nori material sample 1

Nori material sample 2

SEA-LACE

Dulse material sample

 SEA-LEATHER

Kombu material sample